Crimson Coast Dance Society’s African Connections 2021 kicks off on Feb. 6 with a discussion and film screening with Kenyan dancer and choreographer Fernando Anuang’a. (Photo courtesy Ronan Liétar)

Crimson Coast Dance Society’s African Connections 2021 kicks off on Feb. 6 with a discussion and film screening with Kenyan dancer and choreographer Fernando Anuang’a. (Photo courtesy Ronan Liétar)

Nanaimo’s Crimson Coast Dance Society unveils Black History Month programming

‘African Connections 2021’ to include online dance, music, stories and more

Nanaimo’s Crimson Coast Dance Society is marking Black History Month with a series of presentations of African dance, music and folk tales, as well as stories relating to the immigrant experience.

Crimson Coast is presenting its African Connections 2021 programming each Saturday in February. Curating the month’s events, which are happening online due to COVID-19, is Tania Amaral, a dancer originally from Mozambique who now lives in Nanaimo. She was part of Crimson Coast’s African Connections last year, when she performed and taught her “Afro-fusion belly dance.”

“There is a challenge for this year because we are doing everything in Zoom but I also believe that it’s important to do certain activities and certain dates are important and we should not let them just pass by because of the situation that we are living in right now,” Amaral said.

When choosing events for this year’s edition of African Connections, Amaral said she asked people from Nanaimo’s African community what they would want to see and then set out to put together a program that responded to that demand.

“I didn’t want to just create something and then at the end of the day people of the African community here will be like, ‘But this type of event didn’t tell me anything,’” Amaral said.

The festivities start on Feb. 6 with a conversation and dance film screening with Kenyan dancer and choreographer Fernando Anuang’a, and later that day Amaral will give a talk on the representation of African dance culture.

The following week Kaslo-based performance artist Shayna Jones will present African folk stories for children, local musician Nicole Utulinde from Rwanda and fitness instructor Andiswa Crouch from South Africa will discuss their cultures and what it was like to immigrate to Canada, and Amaral will teach a beginner dance class.

On Feb. 20 Nanaimo resident Lethy Makwenge from the Democratic Republic of the Congo will read African children’s stories and Crouch will lead a beginner “Afro-Zumba” class.

On the final Saturday, African Connections 2021 concludes with a performance by Utulinde on the ngoma drums and dance by Amaral. Amaral said there is value to exposing people to the cultures of Africa through both discussion and demonstration.

“Sometimes people have so many misconceptions … but I think when we talk, when we share, then people will see, ‘Oh, this is how you guys do it, it’s just a different culture, different way of seeing, different perspectives,’” she said. “And that sharing will bring more awareness of the cultures and we will grow from that.”

WHAT’S ON … Crimson Coast Dance Society presents African Connections 2021 online via Zoom each Saturday in February. Times and registration fees vary. For a full schedule of events and to register, click here.

RELATED: Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Arts and culture

Just Posted

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(File photo)
Island conservation group says members targeted with harassment, vandalism

Police investigate pair of reports of mischief victims call pushback against conservation efforts

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Nanaimo sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Whispers Adult Superstore overnight Feb. 21

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read