Kwanzaa Celebration 2022This holiday season marks an exciting milestone for the Kwanzaa Celebration – it is the fifth anniversary since its inception! This performance, produced and directed by Kevin McEwen, has grown into a memorable tradition in New York City over the past five years.

The production was made possible through the collaboration of many organizations and talented individuals. Queensborough Community College, Rhythm N Dance, The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning and the Kofago Dance Ensemble all worked together to make this event one of a kind.

The show featured African Diasproic dance forms such as Sabar dance from Senegal, Hip-Hop, Modern and Afrobeats. It also included a live drum call led by D’Jembefola Jean Lemke Charlot and Master of Ceremony duties by 1Pablo (Paul Lee) who spoke to the audience about Kwanzaa’s cultural significance.

Kwanzaa Celebration has become a staple in our community, celebrating African Diasporic culture in the beginning of December each year. This year, we had two shows which seemed like the natural evolution of the work we’ve done for the past five years.

Batingua Arts Youth Ensemble

On December 9th, 2022, the first annual Kwanzaa Celebration Youth Performance kicked off with a bang, featuring some of the best performing arts groups in the area.

The Phoenix Dance Ensemble from First University Prep in Brooklyn put on an incredible show with their signature choreography by their director, Afaliah Tribune. The Sesame Flyers International Youth Dance Ensemble (under the direction of Acharo Smith and Vuyelwa Thom) from Brooklyn brought their mix of Caribbean rhythms and creative movements to the stage. The Batingua Arts Youth Ensemble, directed by Persephone Dacosta showcased dazzling African and Caribbean dance moves. Infinity Blueprint (directed by Tanasia McCorey) from Long Island provided a much-needed dose of soulful Hip-Hop choreography. And last but certainly not least, the A.R.E.A Collective from Harlem delivered an electrifying performance full of Hip-Hop beats and melodies.

Infinity Blueprint

It was truly a sight to behold! Not only did these talented young artists show off their skills, but they also demonstrated how powerful art can be when it brings diverse communities together for a shared purpose. As we celebrate this inaugural Kwanzaa Celebration Youth Performance, let us continue to support our young performers as they strive to reach their highest potentials!

The second show on Sunday, December 11th, was our signature show celebrating our fifth anniversary of our production. Featuring talented dancers from Kofago Dance Ensemble, Queensborough Community College Dance Program, REACH Collective and the Kwanzaa Celebration cast, this performance was truly an occasion to remember!

Every moment of the two hour long show was nothing short of remarkable. From Bakary Fall’s powerful traditional Sabar dances

Sabar Suite

to Tanasia McCorrey’s innovative hip hop numbers and Mama Taylor’s captivating Lengen routines, each piece brought its own unique flavor to the mix. Even Aicha Konaté’s Afrobeats choreography with the QCC Dance program managed to evoke emotions in all who experienced it.

From my position as the producer and director of the show, it was clear that each choreographer took great care in crafting their pieces for this special event – from artistic vision to technical execution. The entire performance flowed seamlessly from start to finish, providing an exciting show full of energy and passion.

This year’s Kwanzaa Celebration 2022 was both an inspiring cultural display and a world-class performance – an unforgettable experience that will linger in our memories for years to come!