MIAMI, Fla. (Black PR Wire) – As “The Lion King” continues to break box office records, another story that celebrates the African continent and its unbreakable spirit is set to arrive in South Florida to spark the Miramar Cultural Arts Center 2019-2020 season.
Africa Umoja, The Spirit of Togetherness, sponsored by Aetna and benefiting The Embrace Girls Foundation, Inc., will premiere for a two-week celebration during Black History Month.
Opening Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, the production will run until March 8, 2020 at the MCC, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar.
Prior to Africa Umoja, the music magic of Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles and his band Creole Soul will take center stage on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. to kick off the MCC season.
Charles’ concerts easily and usually morph into a carnival celebration with the audience on their feet, singing and dancing.
Hailed by Jazz Times as “A daring improviser who delivers with heart- wrenching lyricism,” Charles’ music has been described as defiantly creating magic, while his exceptional talent folds and curls sound waves together, resulting in new and eclectic notes that accept kongo and rock, as well as the influence of Marley, Motown and R&B.
For ticket information call the Miramar Cultural Arts Box Office at 954-602-4500, or visit miramarculturalartscenter.org, embracegirlpower.org or ticketmaster.com.
Africa Umoja, conceived by Todd Twala and Thembi Nyandeni and produced by Joe Theron, was developed to educate a new generation of South Africans about their rich heritage and the power of unity (Umoja is the Swahili word for unity) by showcasing the glory days of South African music and dance, that persisted even during the country’s hardships.
The show has become much more than either of its founders could ever have imagined, however, dazzling audiences and receiving standing ovations and breathtaking reviews in more than 50 countries across the globe over the last two decades.
Fueled by history, the cast of 33 young adults are arguably South Africa’s most versatile and dynamic singers, dancers and drummers, drawn from the myriad cultures that compose their rural worlds. The production will feature traditional love songs, lullabies, and internationally acclaimed choreography that narrates in passionate song and dance the moving tale of love and community that helped black South Africans triumph during some of their country’s stormiest passages.
Audiences will experience life in townships through authentic tribal dancing, joyous gospel singing, explosive drumming and heartfelt performances in an exciting tribute to South Africa and the Zulu heritage.
Africa Umoja also celebrates South Africa’s freedom and democracy through a tribute to Nelson Mandela. The production includes the song “Long Road to Freedom,” which was written in Mandela’s honor and performed to visuals of Mandela in jail on Robin Island and his release from Poslmor Prison in 1990.
In addition, there is a jaw-dropping tribute to America’s civil rights legend, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Africa Umoja carries the audience on a musical journey right up to “Kwaito,” the equivalent of American hip-hop in culture, fashion and expression that is the dynamic club climate of South Africa today.
The authentic pride spilling off the stage is utterly irresistible and a refreshing change to the norm of manufactured performances.
Weekends from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. the Miramar Cultural Arts Center will be transformed into the Africa Umoja Family Fun Village featuring free master classes, backstage tours, food, accessories, art vendors, and family friendly games and activities.