Black History Month at JCAL: West African Dance Event

  • January 1, 2024

In honor of Black History Month, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) will present A Weekend of West African Dance. The festivities will take place on February 23rd and February 24th, at 8 pm on both nights at Jamaica Performing Arts Center (153-10 Jamaica Avenue). The weekend’s events will be headlined by two esteemed dance companies based out of Queens: Kofago Dance Ensemble and FANIKE! African Dance Troupe.


Kofago Dance Ensemble will kick off the two-day event on Friday, February 23rd with a must-see show. Their work exists at the nexus of African dance traditions and the Black experience in America. The dance company is focused on healing and ritual through the performing arts.

Kofago Dance Ensemble will be led by their founder and Artistic Director Kevin McEwen. His foundation in African Diasporic art forms is grounded in dance technique from Senegal, Mali and Guinea. Over the past several years, Kevin has broadened his dance repertoire by studying under dance masters to include Afro Cuban, Afro Jazz, Haitian Folkloric, and the Martha Graham Modern/Contemporary dance technique.

On Saturday, February 24th, JCAL’s festivities will continue with a spirited performance by FANIKE! African Dance Troupe. FANIKE! African Dance Troupe embraces and respects the dance, rhythm, historic and growing culture tied to African movement. Their mission is to perpetuate the survival of African/African Diaspora culture and arts through dance and percussion presentation. Directed by Patricia Ghizamboule Robinson, JCAL will present Fanike’s signature libation, drumming and dance performance honoring the ancestors of the African Diaspora.

The weekend promises to be a vibrant and energetic showcase of the rich cultural heritage of West Africa. Tickets are $20 for each evening, or $30 for a full weekend pass. JCAL members are granted free access to this event. Become a member here.