West African Drum & Dance in Mt. Rainier, MD: Soul in Motion Players Deliver Another Audience Pleaser in “Prequel”

In anticipation of their 35th anniversary in 2019, Soul in Motion Players highlight their encore performances from the last four years this Black History Month at Joe’s


Soul in Motion Players return to Joe’s Movement Emporium with “Prequel” on Saturday, February 24th at 8 pm and Sunday, February 25th at 4 pm. This popular annual anniversary show is an audience favorite that reaches across generations with heart-pounding rhythms, stunning choreography from the cultural diaspora, and beautiful traditional costuming. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and seniors with ID, and $10 for children 10 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling 301-699-1819 or visiting Joe’s online at www.joesmovement.org. Joe’s is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.

About Prequel

The Soul in Motion Players celebrate their 34th season with their annual Black History Month performance. This year, ‘Prequel’ will highlight their encore performances from the last four years. The audience will be treated to drum rhythms inspired by the cultural diaspora including Brazil, Cuba, and the Western Region of Africa. This year’s choreographers are Pam Lassiter, Charla Lewis, and Adjetey Klufio (from Ghana).

About Soul in Motion Players

Soul in Motion Players is a non-profit performing arts organization, founded in 1984 by percussionist Michael Friend, that specializes in African dance, drumming, theatre and spoken word. The ensemble is based in Rockville, MD and rehearses weekly at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, MD. Soul in Motion is directed by Michael Friend and Pam Lassiter Rhone.  The group performs in and around the Washington DC area at various festivals including the Washington Folk Festival, The Takoma Park Folk Festival, Dance Africa, Juneteenth Celebration in St. Mary’s County, and Rockville’s MLK Celebration.  The ensemble traveled to Dakar Senegal in March-April 2011 to study with the Senegalese Ballet and to visit key cites including Goree Island. Additionally, in 2011 Soul in Motion received the prestigious Montgomery County Executive Community Award for Excellence in the Arts.

WHAT:  Soul in Motion Players in “Prequel”

WHEN: Saturday, February 24th at 8 pm and Sunday, February 25th at 4 pm

WHERE: The Meyer Performance Theater, Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712

COST: Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and seniors with ID, $10 for children aged 10 & under


Fulbright Fellow Meghan Abadoo explores Gatekeepers May 5th in Mt. Rainier, MD

NextLOOK Artist, Meghan Abadoo, explores what it takes to be a social gatekeeper

On Friday May 5th at 7 pm Joe’s Movement Emporium, in partnership with The Clarice, presents Meghan Abadoo’s newest work, “Gatekeepers/All that you touch, You Change”, as a part of the NextLOOK series. Abadoo plans for an immersive dance-theater experience for audiences within Joe’s walls that explore what it means to be a gatekeeper within various social systems. This will be Abadoo’s first state-side work after her return from an eight month long research period at Noyam African Dance Institute in Dodowa in Ghana. Joe’s is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712. Pay-what-you-wish tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite. Recommend cost is $15 per person.


As a part of her creative residency,  Abadoo is offering an open invite to intermediate and advanced dancers and movers for a 3-part series of dance classes running from May 2-4, from 10:00 – 11:15 am. Abadoo (with help from special guest choreographers from the DC region) will lead technique and improvisational movement practices rooted in Contemporary, West African, and Funk styles. This is a free drop-in series open to ages 18+. More info, click here.

About “Gatekeepers/All that you touch, You Change”

MK Abadoo’s NextLOOK creative residency for Gatekeepers/All that you touch, You Change, gathers DMV-based womyn dance artists of the African Diaspora to explore the roles of artists in communities as everyday gatekeepers. Throughout the residency Abadoo will be joined by local dance artists, choreographers, educators, and scholars including: Holly Bass, Bimbola Akinbola, Tricia Homer, Michele’ Prince, Nicole Sneed, Asia Wyatt, Jessica Denson, Ama Law, Sadiqua Crutcher, and more!

Community Moving Dialogue @ The Waterhole, May 2 at 5:30PM

FREE Intermediate/advanced dance classes, May 2-4, 10:00 – 11:15AM

Meghan (with help from special guest choreographers from the DMV) will lead technique and improvisational movement practices rooted in Contemporary, West African, and Funk styles. Come join us as we suspend and release into the floor, spiral the pelvis, and syncopate the spine to funky rhythms! 


Work-in-progress showing of Gatekeepers/All that you touch, You Change, May 5 at

About Meghan Abadoo

DSC_4104Meghan K. Abadoo’s creative work exist at the crux of dance theater, racial justice organizing, and critical education studies. Combining Contemporary, West African and Funk dance styles, her choreographies build platforms for shared dialogue in support of transformative social movements. In 2017 she will premiere a new work commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and begin touring her award winning piece, Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home. As a 2016-2017 U.S. Fulbright Fellow, she recently conducted eight months of creative research at the Noyam African Dance Institute in Dodowa, Ghana, and with the National Dance Company of Ghana.

Prior to this period she performed for over a decade with internationally renowned dance companies and choreographers including Gesel Mason, Liz Lerman, Urban Bush Women, David Dorfman Dance and the Dance Exchange. As an educator, Ms. Abadoo is sought out for her keen ability to facilitate group learning as unique communities of shared wisdom, and embodied knowledge. She’s worked with students as a guest artist at the University of Maryland, Brown University, James Madison University, East Carolina University, Dickinson College and the University of Virginia.

Abadoo is a 2017 40 Under 40 awardee by Prince George’s County (Maryland) Social Innovation Fund for her leadership and achievement in the arts. Beginning this summer, she will join the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as an inaugural Visiting Arts Fellow in the Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Transdisciplinary Core at VCU’s Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry & Innovation.

About the NextLOOK Series

Joe’s Movement Emporium and The Clarice in College Park, MD are partnered for their third season of NextLOOK. Established in 2014, this application-based program gives regionally-based performing artists the time, space and dollars to develop new work with the opportunity to deepen the audience’s interaction and involvement through previews, workshops and feedback sessions.

More information can be found by clicking here.

Event Announcement: Master Class with Niche

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Former member of the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble, Niche Falkner, comes to the DMV sharing her infectious smile and energy in a West African Master Class. This class is open to all ages and levels and accompanied by live drumming.

REGISTER NOW BUTTONNiche studied traditional West African dance under the tutelage of Mama Kadiatou Conte and Mohamed DaCosta from Conakry, Guinea, West Africa. After relocation to Charlotte, NC, she cofounded SHAE Movement African Arts, a cultural entity dedicated to “Sharing the Heart of African Energy through Movement” to the Charlotte community and abroad. In addition to teaching a weekly community class, she is serves as an Adjunct faculty member for the University of North Carolina – Charlotte Dance Department teaching West African Dance and Performance. Outside of dancing, Niche is a Certified School Psychologist and PhD Candidate. She enjoys running, laughing, spending time with her family and friends, and enjoying life…dancing all the way through!

***This class is brought to you by the Dancing Our Africa Extension Class Series. A nationwide initiative intended to extend the annual dance intensive,Dancing Our Africa, in the various communities it serves. With a diverse roster of guest artists, these communities are able to further their knowledge of African Diasporan and neo-traditional dance styles through master classes, workshops and lectures.

The class is Sunday, Jun 26 2016 at 3 pm and runs an hour and half. Adult & children prices available. Click here to register.

Internationally Acclaimed West African Master Dancer Moustapha Bangoura in Mount Rainier

Le Bagatae Dance and Drum founder comes to Joe’s one-day only to teach a dance workshop for adults and children that includes live drumming

REGISTER NOW BUTTONSun, Jun. 26, 2016 at 6:30 pm, master dancer, drummer, and choreographer Moustapha Bangoura imparts his decades of dance experiences to the community in a West African Dance Workshop at Joe’s Movement Emporium. Admission is open to all dancers at $15 per adult and $10 per child age 10 and under. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in for this 2 hour-long immersive experience.

About Moustapha Bangoura

MOUSTAPHA BANGOURAMoustapha is a 22 year veteran of the largest and most celebrated dance compabny from the continent of Africa- Les Ballets Africains. He is the internationally acclaimed master dancer, drummer and choreographer and has traveled the globe bring the colorful musical performance traditions of his homeland to audiences worldwide. Moustapha founded LE BAGATAE DANCE AND DRUM, an authorized dance and drum school in Guinea. He was the Associate Artistic Director for Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago from 2000-2005. In 2006 he established Won Tan Nara/Ballet Guinean of France in Europe. He is presently the Artistic Director with Le Bagatae Dance and Drum Ensemble and choreographer for Legends of West Africa.


Admission to the workshop is $15 per adult and $10 per child ages 10 and under. Tickets are available for purchase at www.joesmovement.org or call 301-699-1819.