Thursday, May 25, 2017

May in the Bay - Carnaval Season!

      Carnaval Season in the month of May only in the BAY, held in the historic Mission district of San Francisco, Ca with live broadcasts on KPIX Channel 5 and a post special on KBCW Channel 44 {see flier for broadcast schedule below} Oakland comes through with Family style Festivals with Oakland Carnival [Sat-June 3rd] and the Ressaca do Carnaval [Sun.-June 4th] the After Party NOT to be missed presented by Tambores de Julio Remelexo with Brazilian Food, featuring Pagode, Abadas from Bahia and a LIVE! video shoot. 
Carnaval Spirit starts from within and transcends. @nzoCALIFA we send a grand salute to our tradition bearers, the folks behind the scenes and YOU! #BomCarnaval
~R. Califa, Nzo Califa Dance Works
Bay Area Carnavalesca kinship representing Bay Area Carnaval legacy spanning over 3 decades.
Bom Axe'  to our neophyte passistas Lupe Tovar, Lucia Arrizon and Nyala Wright.

Plenty of Samba best, as Dancers compete to become Queen of  Passistas Ginga Brazil 2017
for more info:
Carnaval San Francisco online and LIVE KPIX 5
click flier for details.


SAT. June 3rd Oakland's Carnival at the historic Mosswood Park in its 4th year.

Can't get enough of Carnaval Celebration, catch the ultimate After Party Sun. June 4th with
Tambores Julio Remelexo and their Ressaca do Carnaval Party in Oakland. GET THAT ABADA!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pioneer, Pillar & Post: Baba Chuck Davis Iba'e March 14, 2017

Dr. Charles R. Davis 
aka "Baba Chuck"
[January 1, 1937 - May 14, 2017]
One of the World's foremost Educators, Teachers and Ambassadorship humanizing the African Dance & Drum 
Cultural traditions, while advancing the intelligentsia of its Art, Craft, while cultivating generations of legacy 
building. We salute you and yours Baba in love, light and sweet Ancestral ascension. 
~ R. Califa, Nzo Califa Dance Works   @nzoCALIFA 

A special note of love, grand support and sweet ease to our kinship at the 

African Dance and Drum Ensemble, his Family along with Arts and Drum kinship 
and Global Communities of Baba Chuck Davis.
       If you've ever been privy to be in the presence of Baba Chuck Davis, then you know that you were before an ominpotent earthly force imbued and guided fiercely by the Ancestors. His trajectory of anthropological Dance research and works, assuredly has generated volumes of Dance repositories transcending the pioneering works of our luminiaries Primus and Dunham, yet forging new trails bridging contemporary, traditional, while cultivating new #Dance dialogues, forums and perspectives, throughout the world.

*Baba Chuck Davis, 1977
Photo courtesy of BAMblog
To take a class with him was the Bantaba, to listen to him lecture was prose and song tied into endless gem notes--wisdom you never want to forget. His leadership and Artistic vision shepherded #Dance nzo Chuck Davis Dance Company in New York in 1968 taking the Company to perform in FESTAC - Nigeria in 1977.  The preeminent African Dance and Drum Festival Dance Africa was conceived through his visionary Artistic Leadership founded in 1977 first presenting at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Lepercq Space.* Today #DanceAfrica celebrates 40 years where over 80 Dance Troupes from 15 nations have performed with extended productions now presenting in Washington, DC; Chicago, Illinois, Dallas, Texas, Denver Colorado, Columbus Ohio and Pittsburgh, PA.**
       Formed in 1983, African American Dance Ensemble of Durham, North Carolina, remains a thriving institution and living repository of Dr. Davis' legacy and mission for over 30 years, touching the world over teaching, performing and building on 5 continents. Dr. Davis has served as Elder Advisor to leading African Dance and Drum organizations throughout the country, and as Professor at North Carolina Central University and Duke University respectively.

And I know like everyone else who shares in this Dance and Drum kinship of magnificent legacy, that this year's call to the Drum shall have us all dancing with hearts full, filled with grand Spirit and inspiration paying homage to our Ancestral Guardian Gran, Baba Chuck Davis, eeeeyo!
*love, light and sweet Ancestral ascension Baba*

Regina "Califa" Calloway, Creative Director
Nzo Califa Dance Works - Oakland, California
@nzoCALIFA | @nzocalifa

DANCEAfrica Highlights - Brooklyn 2017
  • May 20th 10am Weeksville Heritage Center (1698 Bergen St, Brooklyn) A Tribute to the Ancestors; 1pm DanceAfrica Community Day at Restoration Plaza [1368 Fulton St, Brooklyn] at  to kick off the Annual Festival. 
  • The Memorial Day weekend celebration African Marketplace and Bazaar [Brooklyn]
  • May 26-29:  DanceAfrica 2017 The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond 
Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam & Artistic Director Emeritus Baba Chuck Davis [iba'e]
*Wula Drum and Dance Ensemble 
*Asase Yaa Forces of Nature Illstyle and Peace Productions 
*BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble 
*Lighting design by Al Crawford; Sound design by David Margolin Lawson 

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Ave) 
May 26 at 7:30pm; May 27 at 2pm & 7pm
May 28 & 29 at 3pm 
Tickets start at $25 (half-price for ages 16 & under)

If you have a message or words of encouragement, please do so by using the following 
number 919-672-1058. You may leave a message to include your name and number if you so desire. Information will be shared as soon as possible. Peace! Love! Respect! For Everybody
If you would like more information, please contact: 
Dr. B. Angeloe Burch Sr. at 919-672-1058 
or email at
Friday, June 2, 1pm - 7pm
Fisher Memorial UHC - 420 E Piedmont Ave, Durham, NC 27707 
The body will lay in state and a time of Community Tributes will begin at 5:00 p.m.
Funeral Services:
Saturday, June 3, 11:00 a.m.
Union Baptist Church - 904 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27701
for further information: Dr. B. Angeloe Burch Sr. - 919-672-1058

news media homage of Baba Chuck Davis [iba'e]
(short list)
** BAM 150 years [blogspot]
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Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Media -nzo.archive: Fua Dia Congo 2009

R. Califa Diaspora Dance Specialist
Alumnus of Fua Dia Congo/Diata Diata
Met the inimitable "Congo Man" onstage at a Berkeley Highschool Performance in tribute to Ta Malonga back in 1982. On cue, he jumped in and challenged our "Bakongo" and as my Senior classmates quickly exited stage right, I was left to fend for my neophyte-self, an initiation so-to-speak. Post College, I immediately inducted myself into the membership of this iconic Cultural force and not only gained an immeasurable training and educational experience of  Dance, Drum and Culture, also learning these important keys as an Artist: "Arts excellence and Business administration" Malonga's torch of indomitable Spirit continues to blaze cultural pathways that'd create Nzo Califa Dance Works and elevate "My Kongo". ~ @nzoCALIFA

FUA DIA CONGO [FUA] was founded by World-renown Master Artist and Cultural Ambassador Ta Malonga Casquelourd of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in kinship with respected Community leaders and scholars of East Palo Alto along with his Congolese cohorts Ma Boukaka and Paul N'Goumba [all give praise to life].  His visionary leadership carried many important veins that bred life into notable Institutions for erecting arts preservation and academic excellence like, San Francisco State University's Ethnic Dance Department, San Francisco City Celebrations, Mandeleo Institute and Everybody's Creative Arts Center.  Established in 1977, FUA is a non-profit Teaching and Performing Arts Institution; It's Company repertoire reflects religious, social and military traditions of the Kongo Kingdom, the Company's legacy extends itself to a global Student constituency, epic Company Repertoire productions, celebrated Dance and Drum Camps from California to Maui, Hawaii and signature Dance and Drum Class programming at the historic Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Oakland, CA.


Presentation at the Midpen Media Center Studio Series, January 2009

Fua Dia Congo
Congolese Dance Ensemble
"Our Congolese Heritage" 

Artistic Director: Muisi-Kongo Malonga Musical Director: Kiazi T. Malonga
Guest Master Artist: Sandor Diabankouezi  Producers: Karen Adams, Muisi-Kongo Malonga
  • Kimvuka - A Village gathering
  • Mayaka - Company
  • Ganza - Company
  • Bisiki Bia Ngoma - Drum Core
  • Dance Moumbolo - Company 
  • Essombi - Balet Kizingu Youth Ensemble 
  • Kingoli - Company
*program credits drawn from the video program

Friday, May 5, 2017

nzoCALIFA_Archives: Divinely Fogolystic - Carnaval SF '95

"That's why I like Carnaval...There's no preconceived notion about who can take part. There are people in the classes 
from 5 to 50 years old."
R. Calloway, Carnaval Program Coordinator, Class Leader
Fogo Na Roupa/ New Mission News, San Francisco  1995

Featured Fogo Na Roupa, Carnaval SF 1993 - Nives Wetzel de Cediel Dance leader
       An inspired moment to write this flashback forward piece, in the midst of researching material for my #Dancestory2017 trek and came across this article, part of the The New Mission News Archive - May 1995
San Francisco, CA. It shares a glimpse of Carnaval San Francisco revelry , featuring an article of one my legacy Dance Houses for over 17 years -- Fogo Na Roupa.  
Be lifted in the richness of such a historical tradition of Arts passion and life works. Engage in the feel of these times and please read the actual article [i.] below
Obrigada, R. Califa 

" Serengeti" Fogo Na Roupa, Carnaval San Francisco 1995
Nives Wetzel, Laila Jenkins & Lisa Whitney 

[rt] Artistic Director Mestre Carlos Aceituno 
[rest in progress]
"Fogo's Divine Buzios" was the theme for one of the Bay Area's exciting movements on and off the streets, founded in 1989, Fogo Na Roupa [clothes on fire] led then by the illustrious Mestre Carlos Gilberto Aceituno.[RIP]
     We enlisted the talents of Mario Chacon, Carnaval King and award winning Fashion designer from El Salvador, coalesced with Artists/Costume designer talents of Nives Wetzel, Lisa Whitney, with a team of dedicated Musicians and Volunteers, responsible for producing the sound and encapsulating the visual aspect upon a Float platform.  Delivered personally from Salvador da Bahia the "Timbau" was the featured instrument as "Timani" a Senegalese rhythmic adaption donned Fogo's dynamic playlist. 
As Carnaval Program Coordinator it was my role to coordinate the Artistic visions of the Director, Designers working in concert to outfit an over 40 piece bateria, while recruiting contingent membership, conducting class programming and Womanifest my own designs upon a section or destaque or two -- boasting a membership of over 200.   
YES! I'd be in creative nirvana caught in Saturday afternoon Bay bridge traffic. #Carnavalesca4life.

1995 Carnaval San Francisco Award Standing
Overall Fogo tied 3rd-place with Betho Filho of Oju Oba. 
tied 1st place - Brazilian Dance
2nd Place Brazilian Visual & Float
3rd  Place Brazilian Music.

      San Francisco Carnaval San Francisco during this era brimmed with the legacy of Pioneers and trailblazers cultivating cultural seeds and traditions in the Bay Area bridged with endless creative boundaries and no borders! The very thrust of today's organizational efforts are emblazoned by the vision of such luminaries, folks from the barrios, favelas and the ghettos - to the working class, Master Artists, Craftsmen, Corporate, Entrepreneurs with the "upper echelon" engaging in frivolous revelry, as Shaman and Priestess bless the streets with traditional rituals in the midst of protests of the day -- One has never seen such festive gathering so unique as Carnaval San Francisco.
"Porta Bandeira" "Batucaje 1980         

Jacque Barnes/Dance Pioneer/Master Teacher
Photo courtesy: Rick Telesforo
The competition results of the year of 1995, was ladened with Carnaval Artistic excellence of Grand Champions D'Midas International to Bay Area Dance muse Betho Filho of Oju Oba, Stephen/Colleen Tiffenson of Mas Makers Massive, mesmerized by innovators Kip Farris "Float Designer Extraordinaire" [RIP] and raising the bar was Carnaval Royalty Josephine Morada and Chalo Eduardothen blazing their own trails through Escola Nova de Samba, hailing  
 from the legendary halls of Jose Lorenzo & Jacque Barnes' of Escola de Samba Batucaje - The first Brazilian Carnaval Group of the times and First Champions of Carnaval San Francisco. //@nzoCALIFA
*Lithograph -Oakland Museum of California (C) 1982 Judith Herzog Bebianno 1982; (C) 2017, Oakland Museum of California Escola De Samba / Batucaje / Directed By Jose Lorenzo". Poster's btm:
" Champions Of Carnival 1981 / the Dance of Life! 
San Francisco Carnaval Parade".


Carnaval San Francisco Article listings researched and compiled by 
R. Califa Calloway, Nzo Califa Dance Works

*just click on the golden links*

i. "Absolutely, Positively, Fogolystic" 
by Bob Parks, The New Mission News, May 1995

iii. "The Beginning of Carnaval with Escola de Samba Batucaje"  by Richard Telesforo, El Tecolote, May 11, 2011

iv. "The Birth of Carnaval San Francisco on the Streets of San   Francisco",  by Willy Lizarraga,

Click link for more info about:  Carnaval San Francisco

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