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Even though the summer festival is over, American Dance Festival continues to present top-notch dance works! On September 14 and 15, ADF in association with Meredith College presents the 2023 “Bessie” Award winning New York is Burning by Omari “Oricci” Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik.
Les Ballet Afrik is a multi-cultural dance company whose mission is to champion the Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ experiences within the ballroom scene. Rooted in African, Afrobeat, House, Vogue, and Latin dance styles, Les Ballet Afrik pioneered a new movement style called “Afrikfusion,” under the artistic direction of legendary Omari “Oricci” Wiles.
Their latest work, New York is Burning, draws inspiration from the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning and its depiction of voguing as a powerful expression in the face of racism, homophobia, and the stigma of the AIDS crisis. Commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, New York is Burning reflects the aspirations of a diverse group of dancers in a city beset by health, racial, and financial crises. Highlighting the importance of community and connection to ancestry, Les Ballet Afrik continues to provide a space for individual expression and radical acceptance.