This National Dance Week (April 20-29), the AFRican takes a look at one of NYC's hottest underground dance scenes.
Libation- the raucous, afrobeat dance party hosted by the Afro Mosaic Soul Dance Collective celebrated its first anniversary. Resident DJ Ian Friday and guest DJ Kervyn Mark spin hours of soul-lifting music every second Thursday of the month.
In 1994, DJ Friday founded the Tea Party, a nonprofit that provided a platform for artists, such as Erykah Badu and Mos Def, featuring an open mic and party with Ian at the helm. He later launched a label, Tea Party Music, showcasing his original productions.
Friday elevates his deejaying to a ministry, emboldening others to cheat gravity and anatomy in ways that make one feel like human beings really can fly. This musical alchemist creates a safe space within which dancers can be free and authentic -grooving like nobody's watching.
That anniversary evening, visual artist Concep created living art by painting on the bodies of partygoers. What mainstream club party will give you the good, clean, and wholesome fun of face paint?
Life in the big city can be lonely so finding yourself in an inclusive circle with good people- folks with a passion and drive to create with sound, movement, color, or whatever else is at hand- is a deeply satisfying feeling.
Libation is held at Sapphire Lounge in the Lower East Side (249 Eldridge St btw. Houston and Stanton).
Credits: Main photo- lafotographeuse
/face paint self portrait- Iquo B. Essien.