Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

nzo.califa: Giving RIZE to Mama Kimpa Vita, Matriarchs & Martyrs...working notes

Mbote! [Greetings]
 Kongo ya Bakoko - Honoring Ancestral legacy | Altar Installation: nzo.califa
Muisi-kongo Malonga's Kimpa Vita - Counter Pulse San Francisco, CA

Good folks it’s been a minute, as I have been in another nzo[ne] working with my #KimpaVita compatriot Muisi-kongo Malonga. Serving another year as Curator with an additional role as Associate Producer, for the past 2 weeks we’ve been re-birthing our project Muisi-kongo Malonga's Kimpa Vita!, in its second year run at Counter Pulse San Francisco's Performing Diaspora series. Honoring #MyKongo propitiates deep Ancestral workings that serve to shed light upon the life of a cultural Martyr and revered Matron Saint -- if you will. Unearthing the life of our Ancient Matriarch, Doña Beatriz Kimpa Vita born near Mount Kibangu in 17th century Kongo Kingdom, lived her destiny under the spoils of Catholic colonialism with a guided mission to unite the Kingdom of Kongo. Often a conduit of spiritual vision while administering consultations to Mani Kongo and her community, she was well respected as an "Nganga Marinda" in Kongo traditions. In her own near death experience, it was believed that she channeled inspirations of Saint Anthony of Padua - Patron Saint of Catholicized Kongo leading to the formation of the Antonian movement, whose training and teachings purported that Jesus and Mary was Black and that Africans too, belonged in Heaven. Ultimately, this led to her demise carefully architected by Catholic authorities to burn her at the stake along with her dedicated companion João Barro – however, it said that her new born child was spared. Yet, even after her death her teachings and followers maintained remnants of her movement, one of many is the  symbolic ritual object that personifies an African image on a cross.

Click link for more info:
R.S. Basi author of "Black Hand of God"  in an exclusive interview with book reviewer, commented that his inspiration to write the book was from exploring the teachings of Doña Beatriz Kimpa Vita's life and also commented upon the impact of her followers known as The Antonian movement upon World History i.e. The Stono Rebellion of South Carolina of 1739; the late Historian Dr. John K. Thornton purports this phenomenon through extensive research of African European exchange, pre-enslavement, along with the vast influence of Afro Catholicism in the Americas.  

My first time travel to Haiti, August 2014, in kinship with Haitian Performing Company, Rara Tou Limen, I experienced a remarked first day encountering a visit to Le Péristyle de Mariani founded by Ati Max G. Beauvoir in 1974; It was at the table near the poteau mitan, where his daughter, Dr. Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, who is a PhD anthropologist and practicing Vodou priestess  lectured about the historical resistance of Vodou and its efficacious qualities of change through solidarity, she referenced Bwa Kayiman - and identified some of the African nations in solidarity to liberate Haiti. Given its historic year of liberation 1804, most definitely Kongo-Angola nations were a large part already predisposed to resistance and certainly revolutionaries of the first post-colonial independent Black-led nation in the world. I also might add that, in our visit to Musee du Pantheon National Haitien, Port-au-Prince,  I was particularly interested in the listing of approximately 102 African Ethnic groups, on display at the museum’s entrance. This display also cited 5,000,000 Africans brought froml'Afrique du Centre-Ouest” [Central West Africa]

In November 2012, California based organizations Congo SQ West Kinship Society in a unique co-producing role lead by De Rompe y Raja's Artistic Director, Gabriela Shiroma,
 produced a musical theatre adaption name "Cristo Moreno". Boasting an 80 member cast, “Cristo Moreno” [Black Christ] surrounded the legend of an enslaved Angolan named “Benito”, who painted a Black Christ on a mud-brick wall in 17th-century Lima known as Pachacamilla – this act was considered a miracle as the painting survived the devastation of earthquakes in the area. Through further research locating rare books at the San Francisco Public Library and reading numerous articles from research journals, then supported by fellow cast member and Master Drummer Zeke Nealy, we learned that a large number of Angolans were brought to South America during colonialism through slavery. A great number of them were brought to the Pacific Coast to build one of the most important colonies of the Spanish Empire – Peru. We surmised that perhaps "Benito's" “act” was a result of being pre-disposed to an already Catholicized Kingdom of Kongo and even influenced by the teachings of Kimpa Vita's, Antonian Movement. Today, one of the largest Catholic communal processions celebrated the world over venerated as Señor de los Milagros [Lord of Miracles] is in Peru, steeped in African historical roots.
"Giving Voice" to Ms. Laura Nelson
Civil rights sheroe, Ida B. Wells was a phenomenal human being whose works of force de jure always struck a resonant chord with me wielding unapologetic bravery in her tenacious efforts to expose the inhumane accounts of lynching in the South. As a fierce journalist, she waged an anti-lynching crusade publishing documented accounts and Southern laws “justifying” these horrors before the 1900’s. One of which: 
Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases by Ida B. Wells-Barnett. 
Very early on she’d quietly be and still is, a guiding force in my initiatives of activism.  Muisi-kongo and I were resolute to include stories of African American Women who suffered at the hands of similar tragedy as Mama Kimpa Vita. Amongst the countless, those who spoke to this project was Ms. Laura Nelson and her son L.D. Nelson - Oklahoma, 1911; Miss Amy Spain - South Carolina, 1865 and Mary Turner- Georgia, 1918.

     Possessing a dual heritage of Congolese and African American, childhood stories of Mama Kimpa Vita conjured up images of strength, spirituality and rebellion; inspirational elements that would catapult Muisi-kongo’s daunting attempt to venerate Mama #KimpaVita through her Art mediumship. At Counter Pulse’s Performing Diaspora, her spine-tingling, heart-stopping performance pummeled through circumstantial challenges in producing this work of great feat. Joined by stellar cast support, her creative vision has evolved into a brilliantly courageous choreopera re-telling historically violent heinous events of injustice, that mute African Women’s voices in an attempt to annihilate their memory as well as their legacy. 
Muisi-Kongo "Petitioning God" portraying Kongolese Matriarch Mama Kimpa Vita
Counter Pulse San Francisco, Performing Diaspora

In re-visiting the surrounding historical elements concerning these martyrs, I researched genealogical data surrounding their deaths, and was fascinated to see the death records of 2 of the 3 African American Women martyrs we honor [Nelson and Turner]. Further review of collected written articles from scholarly journals, well-researched books of witnessed accounts along with noteworthy blogs surrounding the story of KimpaVita, helped us to shape an idea of what the times might have been like, at least in our collective view.  Muisi-kongo’s 2013 sojourn to the Congo availed her brief exchanges with Congolese religious associations familiar with Kimpa Vita and who further support the return of her diaspora descendants of the Americas. Also early on in this process, I enthusiastically learned of the “Mary Turner Project” and was deeply moved by their fervor of collective works and communal activism, forging initiatives that commemorate the lives of those slain in the historic 1918 lynching rampage in South Georgia.

#KimpaVita is a call to venerate the voiceless of unsung African Women and of African American legacy, whose just cause stood in the face of injustice, danger and death; its transcendental nature of cosmic kinship invoked our call to action -- Our weapon of choice? - Art! We were guided by powerful creative forces aligned to uplift herstories, now yOUR story.

I take a moment and give praise to life to the featured martyrs and matriarchs of this project's evolutionary phase, and encourage your further interest to raise the awareness of these stories, while unveiling your own. Listed in order of appearance in our live presentation:

Ms. Laura D. Nelson -lynched  in 1911; Although her image lives in perpetuity through a heinous postcard created by her killers,  the story haunted the memory of folksinger Woody Guthrie who was born 14 months later, and whose father was a member of the lynch mob Okemah, Oklahoma
He wrote a song about it -- "Don't Kill My Baby" note: a featured audio clip in our presentation

Miss Amy Spain [African] - Darlington, South Carolina-lynched in 1865 under the ownership by Major Albertus Chambus, weeks before the fall of the confederacy. Notes: Interested to research how Miss Amy Spain came into the ownership of A.C. Spain.

Ms. Mary Hattie Graham-TurnerFolsom Bridge, Georgia 1918; maimed, riddled with bullets and lynched. Her memory has transcended into an Annual Commemoration Ceremony and operates as a project of racial justice & racial healing, carried out by a collective membership of Family, Valdosta University and growing national Community.  Note: We distributed the organization’s pamphlets at our finale performance. Plans are underway to attend the Commemoration in May 2015.  
Learn more:

Doña Beatriz Kimpa Vita- Evululu, Kongo 1706; Burned at the stake, yet her Antonian Movement has outlasts her with growing revolutionary spiritual leadership. We honor Mama Kimpa Vita as this project’s Guardian Matriarch giving voice to herstories of slain African-Ancestored Women, while raising awareness of the continued fight and Spiritual leadership to unite the Kingdom of Kongo.

~Matondo Kimosabe, indeed an eternal honor…

R. Califa Calloway,
nzo califa Dance Works
Congo SQ West Kinship Society

I dedicate the post article to my Grand Teacher 
Dr. Kimbwandende kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau

 … for his unfathomable works assuredly transcend his lifetime here on earth, continuing to expand the breadth of my life amd my works.

Cast and Friends - Muisi-kongo Malonga's Kimpa Vita 2014
Counter Pulse San Francisco, Performing Diaspora [Muisi-in green]

Information gathered via select Field works and Research Notes of  R. Califa Calloway

  • The Kongolese Saint Anthony: Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita and the Antonian Movement 1684-1706, John K. Thorton
  • Remembering Mary, Shaping Revolt: Reconsidering the Stono Rebellion, Mark M. Smith
  • The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650, Frederick P. Bowser

Thursday, October 30, 2014

KWA SIMBO! - BayArea Gede Fet in motion!

Join in the Season of Ancestral propitiation of Haitian traditions honoring the Gede - plenty of  vitality, deep grinds and circular motion that'll get you #RITE. See flier below for details.
Oakland and San Francisco location. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Join me to #GiveDANCE

Dancing "The Communual Experience" teaches basics to connect us as Dancers. Whether in the studio, on the street and in Communal rites, students learn class decorum from entering the classroom, warming up the body, progressions versus cattle-class crossing and class combos involving "dancing in the wings" along with group choreo -- learning how to work with one another...these basics remain a solid source for teaching and inspiration in conducting my classes, yet to see transformation is its own just reward. ~R. Califa, Professtional Teaching Artist

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

OCT2014 Nzo Califa Dance Docket review

R. Califa yields over 20 years of signature Dance Culture programming and Dance-building initiatives
OCT2014 -Take an early review of Nzo Califa Dance Docket filled with Samba cycles of #Dance, new #Dance offering #TheCommunalExperience and invocations of activism from the studio to the streets. 
OCT. 2nd - NEW -Every Thurs. The Communal Dance Experience w/Regina Califa via Afro Brasilian Dance exploration & traditions. 6P-7:30P @Malonga Ctr, Oakland, CA 
*Co-sponsor Ms. Carla Service, Dance-A-Vision.
OCT. 10th - The Belleza Connection @The New Parish, Oakland, CA  featuring Celebrated Brasilian Artists Danilo Portugal & Namorados da Lua, Dandha da Hora of SambaDA, and Samba Queen, Maisa Duke & Energia do Samba]
OCT. 17th FRI  7:30P Malonga Ctr: afroBrasilian Dance w/R. Califa w/Omulu Capoeira-Kintuari Community Class series. Learn Folkloric/Contemporaneo & ongoing #Dance combo
OCT. 19th-25th“Breaking the Silence: Congo Week” Bay Area, Congo, World
OCT. 23rd-Muisi-Kongo's Kimpa Vita "Revisted"@The Malonga Ctr, Oakland *3rd flr Lounge/Studio E

OCT. 2014-Blanche Brown hosts Haitian Master Classes w/ Mona Estime-Amira/John Amira 
OCT. 24th-31st | San Francisco/Oakland BayArea welcome Mona Estime Amira & John Amira
Technicians & Master Artists in Haitian Dance and Drum Traditions.
flier: nzo.califa 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#GiveDANCE - All the World loves #Samba!

Regina Califa invoking Dance cycles in #Samba motion - pictured a sample 
of past/current class program offerings | @nzoCALIFA on Twitter

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#GiveDANCE with nzo.califa - classes, consultancy & culture

     Classes with R. Califa are an exciting Dance learning experience, working with special group constituencies from Capoeristas and Commercial to Corporate and Community-Arts building initiatives. Check the side listing for upcoming classes. Her signature programming trek transcends into an enriching cultural journey transforming perspectives of places, spaces and faces to #GiveDANCE.  ~nzo.califa Dance Works 
[ Facebook page ] *click link*

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Equinox 2014 - Give Praise to Life!

#Oakland EMESÈMessengers of the African Diaspora: Altar offerings for beloved transitioned

Monday, September 15, 2014

Red Beans and Ricely yours...Monday

*post title inspirations via Baba Ogundele

Post by Califa da Bahia.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

nzo.califa Dance Class: Capoeira, Cultural Arts & Community

Axé Omulu Capoeira 
 *kintuari chapter, Oakland, CA*

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bay Area, CALI - Roots of Haiti!

foto cr: Ron P. Muriera,1986 - San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Blanche Vitero Brown, Dance Pioneer

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Turn UP #Dance Hot in #SHINE with R. Califa

R. Califa provides classes of Instruction #SambaSolstice, Orixa Movement, Samba Reggae and Contemporaneo. Check listing for sites and movement #BayArea. Follow @nzoCALIFA on Twitter

R. Califa in kinship w/The BLEND Tamika Harris for #Dance-building @The Malonga Center
on Sundays & Celebrate #Rasanble Aug. 8th-10th - Haitian Arts & Culture Fest 

Monday, July 28, 2014

#RiteOn Ms. Blanche Brown - Dance Trailblazer

"...when I think of the African Diaspora, I think of it in terms of movement."  ~Ms. Blanche Brown *click for story*
Bay Area Dance Luminary & Pioneering Legacy of Haitian Dance Cultural traditions
video courtesy: Rara Tou Limen
One of the featured Instructors on roster #Rasanble2014 Aug. 8th-10th, Oakland, CA

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tweet Truth - On Gatekeepers #UBWSLI2014

Tweet by Dr. DaMaris B. Hill at #undoingRacism conducted by the People's Institute at
Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute - #NOLA 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"…Samba is Life, Samba is Friction, Samba is POWER!" -Jayne Cortez

Monday, July 7, 2014

#GoodGIVE Monday - Performing Arts agency of kinship

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#CarnavalDanceSeries @The WEB Oakland - June 26th 2014

Closing Class Session in Axé

"Shall I proceed...YES, indeed" The closing class to the  #‎CarnavalDanceSeries THURS. JUNE 26, 2014 Come #BeInTheDance and BE LIFTED or catch inspiration from a fave on my playlist as we'll #‎Dance our working combo to:  "MAGANO" the "Axé" song by Carlinhos Brown e Sergio Mendes.

#‎CalifadaBahia94 moment: I first encountered the thunderous sounds of Timbalda and charismatic force of Carlinhos Brown in Salvador da Bahia '94 on the ground - Must have paraded 2 hours straight no Subsequently in the Late 90's on their U.S. Tour Carlos Aceituno & Fogo Na Roupa was bestowed with the honor to open for Carlinhos Brown & Timbalada at the SF Galeria Trade Center- I played repique, WE ROCKED for sure and Carlinhos Brown gave us a thumbs up. The concert to follow phenomenally transformed the space with Drums, visuals, and Carlinhos Brown's infectious energia com muito força of Candeal de Salvador da Bahia.  #RiteOn

#Oakland What's HOT - Kongo YAH!

June 28th -- Oakland, CA:  International Day of Congolese Dance & Drum highlighting mastery of Dance, Drum and Culture including legacy keepers, organizations, emerging talent, young Lions and trailblazing leadership. Celebrations of Bay Area Congolese Dance, Drum and Cultural traditions whose works has affected our global communities throughout. Matondo, #MyKongo #Malonga #Oakland, #EPA, #tulamuisi
 [Click link above for tix info]
JUNE 28th- #Oakland Historic Weekend Performance Extravaganza & Celebration of Congolese Arts

Monday, June 2, 2014

#DANCESTORY2014: In The Lab - Examining the stories lived...

#Dancestory2014: In The Lab -- Utilizing #Dance as a mediumship for service, I am now analyzing my field works the finds and loving the stories along the way. Dance also serves as a powerful means for telling our stories. This holds true through a legacy of inspiration in training in African Dance and Drum Cultural traditions primarily of West and Central Africa, furthering my quest to weave lines of symmetry extending to its diaspora tributaries. And the Bay Area, California is a Gold mine for unearthing that for which has enriched its cultural landscape. Yet how does one begin? Creativity is my inspiration and #Genealogy is my tool, and this is how I got started via #Dancestory2013  click link to learn more. ~njoy  

R. Califa Calloway

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Iba'se, Give Praise to Life: Maya Angelou Apr. 4, 1928 - May 28th, 2014

Thank you for your integral Life steps that shall keep my #Dance vital

Thursday, May 22, 2014

#BomCarnaval2014 Class, Carnaval and Califa onstage - #GivingDANCE

Bom Carnval Good Folks!

Thursday at The WEB Oakland WE TURN UP in Bloco major MASSA style Dancing styles to the Celebrated Ile Aiye, Olodum and Timbalada com muito alegria in honor of this year's Carnaval/Carnival Season. All are welcomed to GIVE #DANCE.
  • The WEB OAKLAND - THURS. 6:00P-7:30P
  • 355 12th st | Discount $60 for 6 /ends May 22nd
  • $15 Drop-in | Discounts for Carnavalescos & Veteran Teachers

Can't make a class join in the exciting nzo.califa news as I join Carnaval-Quente dynamic Brazsilian band SambaDa on  3 stages this weekend; This is where you'll want to be for guaranteed Carnaval Spirit Brasil & beyond! Check dates below and my latest Carnaval San Francisco / Oakland Carnival Updates through"Califa's lens" - if you're on Facebook and Like our works?! then "LIKE" "Nzo Califa Dance Works"

Your sharing of a G[o]od WORD invokes the kind of inspiration that keeps me moving. #RiteOn
com muito Axé, R. Califa
nzo.califa Dance Works

"...where DANCE lives and SPIRIT moves."

#CalifadaBahia94 #40yrsdoIle


R.Califa to Join 


Tour- #BaySTOP -performing ON 3 STAGES 
this Carnaval this Season!!!

 Premiere Pre-Carnaval Festa!
Completely on high this Carnaval Season, join me in Giving #Dance in celebration with "Brazilian Carnaval" at de Young Museum Fri night, then Carnaval stage SAT. @3p and at the premiere destination Carnaval Fest with Hot Band Spectacular SambaDA LIVE! at The Chapel SF, SAT. NITE featuring vocalist Dandha da Hora, Papiba, Dancers, FULL-FORCE Brazilian Band with Bahia sound on Dolby! Details below, #BOMCARNAVAL2014

joined by Regina Califa #GivingDANCE
Friday 5/23/14 @ DeYoung Museum Carnaval! Celebration
50 Hagiwara Tea Green Dr, SF, CA 6P-8:30P Brazilian Night
Saturday 5/24/14: SF Carnaval Stage Show (3pm)
SF Carnaval Stage Show -FREE
@17th and Harrison Street Stage
San Francisco, CA 94110

SAT. NITE Carnaval Celebration at the Chapel w/La Gente
777 Valencia St | Doors open 8P Show: 9P
San Francisco, CA 94110 | $18 adv $20 door
Bold Band, Bateria and Brazilian Dance Show

36th Annual Carnaval Celebration: 
May 23rd - 25th 
2-DAY FREE FESTIVAL on Harrison St btwn 16th-24th streets
Parade: Sunday at 9AM |

Oakland Carnival transcends on Mon. MAY 26th Memorial Day

Oakland Carnival: Memorial Day-Mosswood Park 10:30a-6:00p
MAY 26th -Festival / Stage Performances / Kid Zone -Broadway/Mac Arthur FREE

10a Ancestral Blessing Ceremony 
Contingents Arrive for Parade: RhythmMuse, Karibbean Vibrations, 
Sistas-W-Style, SambaFunk! Carnaval Explosion w/ King Theo 
11:00a  Kids Zone Opens 
Stage Opens w/ DJ FUZE
1:00 -3p
Dance Companies & Bands 
Juan Escovedo Latin Jazz 
SambaFunk! featuring FUNKTERNAL 
Clean Up. 

Oakland Carnival Parade & Festival is being presented with the support of Oakland's District 3 Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney,DIMENSIONS DANCE THEATER, INC.and the City of Oakland's Department of Cultural Arts and Marketing. 
more info contact: CaribelinQ OmniMedia @510.451.6100 or