Ep. #82 Featuring Steppers from the Indominable Molodi
"Step It Up"
According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade database, out of the nearly 11 million enslaved Africans sent to the New World, about 400,000 came to North America. Most enslaved Africans were allowed to keep their instruments, especially their drums, but those who arrived in North America had their instruments confiscated. Life’s rhythms, however, cannot be quashed or stolen; in lieu of drums, the body became a rhythm instrument and the art of stepping was born.
During the post-World War I era as African American veterans were allowed to enroll in college, they brought a level of precision and the drills learned in the military to their campuses. These added elements created elaborate, synchronized dance routines that brought stepping into a new era.
Since then, stepping has found its home on college campuses and is an integral part of most African American Greek organizations where it is used as a means of expressing pride, providing a support system, and building community. Taking their cue from these college organizations high schools have also introduced step teams with the same goals in mind. Professional step and body percussion groups have emerged as well, bringing this powerful means of expression to world attention.
To demonstrate why step has been called “one of the most exciting dance forms created in the 21st century”, we welcome steppers from the indomitable group MODOLI; Danielle Hicks along with founders Jason Nious and Khalid Freeman, performing an original piece by their collaborating guitarist Sami Saula with Phillip Kismartoni on cello.