Music Beyond Borders: Revisit the World With Us and African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble

Although the coronavirus likely prevents us from presenting Music Beyond Borders this summer, we thought you might enjoy revisiting some of the wonderful moments from past performances.

For  10 years, Music Beyond Borders, a collaboration between Morris Arts and Mayo Performing Arts Center has offered this summer series of free outdoor programs of world music and dance….bringing a taste of cultures from six continents to summer lunchtimes on the Morristown Green.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane and sample some of the past delights of Music Beyond Borders – with African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble (African and Afro-Cuban Dance) who performed July 8, 2014

Check out some of the high energy dancing from Iwa L’Ewa dancers Gary King and Taliba KhiammaMti:


And then there’s the healing power of music: moved by the irresistible Afro-Cuban beat, Hector Francisco got up from his wheelchair to dance…and was then joined by others.

July 8: African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble (African and Afro-Cuban Dance)

African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble celebrate the African cultural legacy throughout the world, expanding it through dance and teachings and inspiring a new generation who will tell their stories. Under the direction of artist & teacher, Yewande Kelley-Johnson, the ensemble presents performancesworkshops for children, youth and adult students, and ceremonies based on African Global heritage, not just from countries like Guinea, Mali, or Senegal, but also from the United States, Trinidad, Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Columbia and more. If you are interested in West African cultural presentations, enjoy the feel of Africa’s beat in Swing dance, savor Anansi stories from Trinidad, Cuba’s Orisha dance or the U.S. Kwanzaa tradition and love the sounds of African instrumentation such as the balophon, djembe orchestra, udushekere and conch shell, you will find much to savor with African Global Arts! Artistic Director and founder, Yewande Kelley-Johnson, has been designated a master teacher of traditional West African dance and is also a recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Artist as Catalyst grant as well as the Washington D.C. Folger’s Library Poetry award. 

On July 8, 2014, a record crowd of nearly 600  attended the performance by African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble. The breeze and shade from the Green’s stately trees made the 92 degree heat much more bearable and seemed to have little effect on the highly energetic dancers, Gary King and Taliba KhiammaMti, who entranced the crowds.

Here are some PHOTOS photos from their performance on the Morristown Green:


L-R Top row: African Global Arts dancers and percussionists including Damien Carpenter, Marsha Perry Starkes, Gary King, Taliba KhiammaMti (with infant) and Victor Marshall; Marsha Perry Starkes gives an impromptu drum lesson to eager young fans; entranced audience stays cool under the trees.

L-R Middle row: Marsha Perry Starkes demonstrates the shakere (beaded gourd percussion) to audience; audience members of all ages and backgrounds; Victor Marshall  seated at log drum

L-R Bottom Row: Victor Marshall greets admiring fan after performance; Damien Carpenter on bongos; Dancer Gary King poses with young admirers.


Additional VIDEOS: 
Dancer Gary King demonstrates “power moves” in his traditional dance HERE.

Dancer Taliba KhiammaMti showcases the dance to honor important personages HERE.

Dancer Gary King demonstrates fancy footwork in this solo HERE.

Young and old join dancers Gary King and Taliba KhiammaMti in learning some dance steps HERE.

Percussionist and vocalist Marsha Perry Starkes provided an impromptu drum lesson to young fans HERE also provided coverage and additional video footage of the community dance lesson HERE.