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African Dance Ensemble brings rhythm, peace to First Night Raleigh

Posted December 30, 2011
Updated January 1, 2012

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— For the Durham-based African Dance Ensemble, there's a message in rhythm and movement. Dancing, especially when it comes from different ethnic sources, is a symbol of peace, said Chuck Davis, the group's artistic director.

"As long as we are dancing together, we don't have hatred," Davis said.

The dancers are set to take the stage Saturday for the First Night Raleigh celebration downtown.  

Davis brought his New York City-based troupe to Durham in the early 1980s to showcase the artists' exploration of African culture and experiences.

Dance troupe celebrates African traditions, peace for 2012 African dance troupe celebrates peace for 2012

"When all of those rhythms come together, there are points where they are blended, and once they are blended, we come together as a people," he said.

Coming together in peace is especially poignant as the world says goodbye to 2011 and ushers in 2012.

"We have people here from everywhere, and at First Night, they come together," Davis said. "We are enjoying different cultures, enjoying the presentation of different cultures and we are enjoying rubbing shoulders in peace."

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