Toronto, Canada – Bana y’Afrique is a free outdoor celebration of African
music and culture for the whole Family to enjoy. The 5th annual African
festival will take place at Metro Hall Square (55 John Street ) on Sunday,
August 28th from 12 noon – 11:p.m.
The Bana y’Afrique 2005 festival features a main concert stage with performances
by award-winning African musical groups and exciting traditional dancers.
The Bana y’Afrique market will feature vendors and cultural organizations with a
wide array of crafts and clothing from the continent and the opportunity to
sample delicious African foods. A journey to the continent of Africa right
in downtown Toronto.
This African music and arts celebration, Bana y’Afrique Festival is a free
event organized by Africa New Music – La Maison de la Musique Africaine. Africa
New Music is non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of African music
and culture in Toronto.Program:
1-Moto et Kapia du Congo (Congolese Soukous & Mutuashi)
Moto is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he trained as a
professional dancer at the National Institute of Art in Kinshasa (INA) and
became one of the elite dancers with the National Ballet of Congo. The leopard
skin that Moto wears as an integral part of his performance has an important
meaning in culture for traditional dance. Instead of the simple costume of his
early years, it is given to signify that a high level of training and expertise
is reached, and is worn to perform for chiefs, royalty and for other important
Moto has performed with many of Congo’s big names, popular bands, and
traditional music groups such as; Wenge Music, Choc Stars, Eden Music, Tambour
Levallois and Swede-Swede. He is able to blend traditional Congolese dances from
various regions of this vast African country with modern forms of dance and
expression while relating traditional themes, contemporary stories and cultural
4- Caribbean Folk Performers
Caribbean Folk Performers is an Afro-Caribbean based Performing Arts Company,
committed to preserving and promoting traditional African and Indigenous
Caribbean Culture through dance, music and drama.
Since the company’s inception in 1988 as a dance company, it has grown
towards its conceived future to become a “Performing Arts Company.” Members are
of various regional backgrounds particularly the Caribbean, Canada, and Africa.
Some of its performance highlights include Metro International Caravan – 1997 & 1998 (Winner of Metro International Award “Citation of Caravan’s theme”), Kimoyo:
The evolution of Black Dance – a sold out performance at Hart House Theatre, and
Emancipation – school tour 1996 to 1998.
5- Black Ice
Step Dancing is a style of dance deeply rooted in the traditions of African
Ancestry where the body is used as the sole instrument for creating music. It
wasn’t until the 1920s that stepping became an art form for African American
Fraternities and Sororities and the 1990s in Toronto.
Black Ice Step Dance Crew has thrilled audiences throughout Ontario and the
United States with their highly spirited and energizing dance repertoire.Founded
in 1992, this Toronto based step collective presents step dancing in a
non-traditional style incorporating modern and contemporary movements and
6- Chemagne Martin
Chemagne was hypnotized with the
Art of Bellydance in 1999. She has been dancing professionally for 4 years and
continues her bellydance training with many recognized teachers in Canada and
the U.S. Her dance background includes Bellydance, Latin dance, and African
dance forms. Chemagne has danced at many venues in Toronto, such as the Toronto
African Festival, Lula Lounge, Rivoli Nightclub, Revival, and Café Mirage.
7 – Mosaic Arabic
From the many corners of the Arab World, the Mosaic Arabic Folklore Ensemble
brings together different dialects, heritages and traditions, representing the
richness and diversity of Arab Culture. As Arab-Canadians, this group of young
men and women hope to bridge the distances of cultures by presenting to their
audiences a mosaic of dance, music and folklore from the Arab World.
Since its birth on May 28, 1999, Mosaic has incorporated many individuals
playing key roles in the unified objective of promoting the culture and bridging
the distances of such diversities. The richness and the diversity of Arab
Culture is represented in this group of young adults, who have joined together
in presenting the values of their heritage.
After six very strong years, Mosaic continues to be a unique landmark in the
growth of Arabic Culture in Toronto and Canada.
[Photo: Madagascar Slim].