FabAfriq Magazine

Forces of Nature Featuring Les Nubians Kwanzaa Celebration

On Saturday December 17 2016, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presented a Kwanzaa celebration program that featured a dance concert by the Forces of Nature Dance Company.

Choreographer Abdel Salaam and executive director Dele Husbands founded the FORCES OF NATURE DANCE THEATER COMPANY in 1981. For over twenty years, Forces has produced high quality ballets, conducted dance classes and presented concerts and educational programs in the United States and throughout the world. FORCES' cultural matrix is centered in an African intelligence that is global, ecological and universal in its artistic perspective, empowering and enlightening in its educational mission, visceral and though provoking in its creative context. FORCES' utilizes a unique blend of performing arts, which includes contemporary modern dance, traditional West African dance forms, Ballet, House forms as well as live and recorded music.

The company's mission is:

1) To develop a choreographic "language" that educates as well as empowers the viewer with a synthesis of the image of the African Diaspora and American culture

2) To stress through the creative arts the importance of living with respect and in harmony with nature

3) To utilise the arts and culture as tools for enhancing human services and social reform.

Since the company was founded Forces of Nature had stayed true to it's mission. It is no wonder they invited sisters Helene, and Celia Faussart of Les Nubians to be a part of this concert. The duo's debut album Princesses Nubiennes was released by Virgin Records, France, in 1998.They have become one of the most successful French-language musical groups in the U.S., best known for their Billboard R&B Single "Makeda" from their Grammy nominated album Princesses Nubiennes. In 1999 Les Nubians were the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards winners for Best New Artist, Group or Duo and received two NAACP Image Awards nominations in 2000.

The show began with an opening performance by forces of nature followed by a short ceremony honoring community elders and an explanation of Kwanzaa and the seven principles that are the foundation of the holiday.
The show also included a stellar performance by a troop of young hip hop dancers. The choreography for that segment was created by one of the Forces of Nature dancers
It was after the first opening dance numbers that the ladies of Les Nubaons took the stage with the dancers for a beautiful performance in the midst of dancers swirling around them. With a NOd to their Cameroonian roots they sang a cover of "Soul Makossa" by Cameroonian Saxophonist Manu DiBango.

The combination of their music and the majesty of the Forces of Nature Dancers were flawless. The show brought together the best elements of culturally infused dance one of the stand out pieces centered around a "Wall Street" theme with dancers wearing business suits and grand gestures of "paper shuffling business people. Themes of joy, struggle, rebirth were all presented through fluid movement and unbounded energy.
Company founder Abdel Salaam concluded the evening by thanking the dancers, artist, and musicians as well as the audience. WE hope to see Forces of Nature collaborate with Les Nubians again. They seemed a perfect fit.

Photo Gallery

FabAfriq Facebook Activity