Soweto Street Beat

Soweto Street Beat

BandWorld

Soweto Street Beat is a South African Dance and Music production. We can perform for concerts, festivals, events, colleges and universities. We also provide Drum Kingdom workshops for businesses, events, festivals and schools. The one-hour workshops provide 50 to 100 drums to all participants.

Biography

Soweto Street Beat Dance Theater Inc. (SSB) is the only professional South African dance troupe in the United States. We began our work in 1989 in Soweto and relocated to Atlanta in 1992. The SSB is an organization, which incorporated in 1993.

Our mission is to teach audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds, especially at risk youth, about the cultural arts and history of South Africa. Executive Director, Peter Ngcobo, and Artistic Director, Isabelle Doll Ngcobo, have fifty years combined experience in African Dance performance and instruction.

The SSB began as an organization, which targeted at risk youth surrounded by crime and poverty in Soweto Township of Johannesburg, South Africa. These young men were taught to become professional dancers, cultural ambassadors. They learned methods of channeling their energies that were building up throughout years of Apartheid into positive, creative activities. Today, SSB continues this teaching to South African youth, bringing them to America to study dance and to get valuable academic experience not readily available in South Africa.

The dance performances of Soweto Street Beat have helped to set a precedent for contemporary dance and culture in the New South Africa. After Apartheid, SSB became the first professional South African dance company to perform at venues and festivals in South Africa, Europe and America.
Among some of its most celebrated appearances are:

· The 1996 Olympic Festival (the only African dance company to perform in the Olympic Games
· The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts
· The New Jersey Performing Arts Center
· The Coca Cola World Cultural Festival
· Jimmy Carters The Atlanta Project (with Michael Jackson)
· The annual performances at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Over its history, Soweto Street Beat has performed for annual audiences totally approximately 5,000,000 persons, which includes approximately 300,000 Georgia school students.

Reviews - What the Critics Say
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Under the direction of South African Choreograph, Isabelle Doll, and her husband and company founder Peter Ngcobo, the dancers give a thrilling, unforgettable performance. They continue to tour American cities, and were highlighted as a part of the 1996 Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta.
Caltech CA

In Atlanta, only one company offers consistently high quality, authentic ethnocentric African dance. That company is Soweto Street Beat Dance Theater.
Former President Jimmie Carter

I thought Dance Umbrella was really well done, very dynamic, entertaining and enlightening. The drumming was fantastic!
Creative Loafing

Soweto Street Beat has found the perfect formula for surviving in today's politically sensitive, entertainment obsessed arts climate. It presents an engaging mix of uplift, authenticity and show biz.
World Africa Network

Both High voltage and down and dirty with leaps worthy of Baryshnikov.
The Boston Globe

Direct from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a group of talented South African men explode onto the stage in an extravaganza of dance, rhythm and song. Musically brilliant, physically amazing, Soweto Street Beat enthralls its audiences with a boot slapping celebration of urban Africa life. We're talking pull your, heart, strings resilience and a symbolic show of strength. We're talking amazing a cappella singing and Olympic displays of athleticism. We're talking infectious laughter and the heat of the beat that sets you brain on fire and makes you want to dance yourself. We're talking a hit! we're talking mega-huge.
The New York Times

Today your dance group came to our school. They did an EXCELLENT JOB! Keep up the good work!
Larriette Coffie, Stone Mt, GA

I really enjoyed the program. There are many talented young men in the group and I would just like to let you know I was impressed. I will be looking forward to attending future performances.
Rachelle Peters, Stone Mt, GA

Discography

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Set List

"ZULU CELEBRATION" (Festival & Colleges)- 60 minutes
"ZULU KINGDOM" Production (Concerts & Theatres) - 90 minutes
"DRUM KINGDOM" (Events & Festival)- 60 minutes