To celebrate 20 years of creating art through dance, NAfro Dance Productions is hosting a four-day-long multicultural event.
From November 2-5, NAfro Dance will be hosting its well-known Moving Inspirations Dance Festival and Symposium, bringing together more than 25 culturally diverse dance groups from around the world to perform for Winnipeggers.
The kickoff event on November 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Gas Station Theatre, will consist of NAfro Dance Productions performing one of their previous acts, Shuni. The other three days of the event will include workshops, classes, outreach programming, and a different Gala Evening Performance each night at 7:30 p.m.
There will be various styles of dance presented at this event, including contemporary, hip-hop, breakdance, East Indian, Indigenous and Japanese. Some performances will consist of social issues, such as cultural appropriation and cultural identity.
"I think that, at this moment, we needed to open it up, we needed to get ourselves out from confinement," says Casimiro Nhussi, the artistic director and founder of NAfro Dance Productions. "We just need something like that so that we can free our mind, we can free our souls."
Nhussi created the dance company back in 2002 with other performers that he knew throughout his years of dancing. His goal was to bring his native country's culture to other countries for them to experience and learn what African culture is like.
"I think it [African culture] has contributed a lot to the world, although we don't talk about it because part of it has to do with historical colonization, putting Africa as non-relevant."
Nhussi continues to say that African culture has especially impacted the world of dance with its unique styles, he uses hip-hop as an example of a dance style that has been influenced.
The festival will conclude with a free wrap-up party at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain feature the NAfro Dance Band and Papa Mambo.
After the 20th anniversary event, Nhussi says that the dance company plans on finding a permanent space to use for all future activities, such as workshops, classes, etc.