You may not have heard of the dance form called “stepping,” but don't feel bad. I didn't! Here's a description:
"A lot of people describe it as highly energetic and powerful movement. And rhythmic chants often accompany the steps as well. It’s really celebrated all around the world, but a lot of Americans don’t know about," said C. Bryan Williams about the foot-pounding, knee slapping moves that he helped bring to the fore in the group he’s created, Step Afrika.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, and the Carver Cultural Center has found an interesting way of celebrating. They’re doing so with a play called "The Mountaintop."
"'The Mountaintop' is truly a fantastic piece that takes you through what possibly the last night of Martin Luther King’s life was like," said Danielle King, president of the Renaissance Guild, "San Antonio's black theater company."
The imagined scenario has Dr. King at Memphis’s Lorraine Motel the night before he was assassinated.
That a Grammy-winning singer is coming to the Carver Cultural Center is a big deal, but that she's been nominated seven times makes it far bigger still. She's Brazilian jazz singer Luciana Souza, who will perform Saturday, January 19, at the Carver’s Jo Long Theater, and to call her music smooth is an understatement.
I spoke withe Ms. Souza recently about her upcoming performance.
Black Violin, it's the Florida band which has staked out the unlikely intersection of hip hop and classical music. Band member Wilner Baptiste (Wil B) spoke to TPR about the band's outreach efforts in high schools.
"It's something that is very dear to our hearts because we understand," Baptiste said. "We were in a performing arts school that actually had an orchestra."
Baptiste talked about his Fort Lauderdale high school years where, due to budget cuts, he nearly missed being able to learn violin.
The Ahn Trio is a highly regarded chamber ensemble, and they're coming Saturday night to the Carver Cultural Center. Their performance in the Alamo City though brings with it a twist. The dance troupe Nai Ni Chen will perform onstage with them.
"I find it very engaging and exciting, and hopefully our audiences will [too]," said violinist Angela Ahn.
An exhibit at the Carver Cultural Center features works by Roberto Jose Gonzalez, who cites a less-than-common muse for his new exhibit: A rain god.
"The exhibit is entitled Atl" Gonzalez said. "Atl is one of the rain gods, one of the rain deities in Mexico. This exhibition is devoted to creating works that are my vision, my interpretation of that particular rain God."
San Antonian Gonzalez is originally from Laredo, but traces his family tree much farther back.