When: July 19-21 2013
There’s plenty to see and do at this free event, with food vendors, crafts tents and two stages’ worth of bands, including the TSU Commercial Music Ensemble — but what made us psyched to mark it on the calendar is the lineup of dance troupes. With the popularity of yoga, pilates and barre in the fitness world, we Westerners are getting more accustomed to moving bodies, but dancing is still far less of an everyday part of our culture than in others. The festival boasts local Kurdish and Chinese dance ensembles, as well as Ilhuicamina Danza Azteca, a group that shares one of the oldest and most complex societies in North America as they carry on the traditions of their Aztec ancestors. The crown jewel is undoubtedly Soweto Street Beat, one of the premiere South African dance companies on the planet. Since moving the troupe to Atlanta in 1992, founder Peter Ngcobo and his team have graced stages from Lincoln Center to Walt Disney World with a dazzlingly smart, athletic mix of South African street moves, traditional Zulu ceremonial dances, and modern choreography.