Stono/Step Afrika

Stono/Step Afrika

Stono/Step Afrika

February 8-21, 2021
Unlimited access

There will also be a pre-performance talk with the Artistic Director and a post-show talk with members of Bucknell and the central PA community. 

Pre-performance panelists will explore the Stono Rebellion and its relevance to issues regarding political protest and structural inequities that dominate American conversations today. 

Step Afrika! is a dance company dedicated to the African-American tradition of “stepping”. Their dance style is a fusion of South African gumboot dance and African American stepping. Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation. The Company is featured prominently at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture with the world’s first stepping interactive exhibit. 

On September 9, 1739, the largest insurrection of enslaved Africans in North America began in South Carolina on the banks of the Stono River. Twenty Africans marched south toward a promised freedom in Spanish Florida, waving flags, beating drums, and shouting ‘Liberty.’ This extraordinary act of rebellion in colonial America predates the famed Boston Tea Party of 1773, the first significant act of defiance to British rule over American colonists. Although the Stono Rebellion was suppressed, this little-known event in American history forever changed African American life and culture. When Africans lost the right to use their drums through The Negro Act of 1740, they began to use their bodies as percussive instruments in response. This act of survival and activism earned them the name of “Drumfolk,” coined by famed folklorist Bessie Jones. Their percussive movement gave rise to some of the country’s most distinctive art forms, including the ring shout, tap, hambone, and stepping. Stono honors the spirit of resistance and activism that remains a critical part of American freedom. 

Ticket Information

Free, but registration is required. or by calling 570-577-1000.


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Sponsored in part by:
  • The performance is sponsored, in part, by Chanin Wendling and Karl Voss and family.

Contact Details

Weis Center for the Performing Arts


525 Weis Drive