Celebrating Kwanzaa at Lula Washington Dance Theatre

The venerable company greets the holiday with joy, movement, energy.

Parades, convivial meals, home celebrations, and plays are some of the ways that Kwanzaa is celebrated around Southern California, but the Lula Washington Dance Theatre's annual performance is definitely one of the big treats of the holiday.

"Dance" is indeed the key word, as the show, which is set to leap and twirl and bound and move from Friday, Dec. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 29, "features dance that embraces African-American roots."

And while movement is key to the performances, African drumming brings the percussive joy and feel-it-at-your-core sound. "Poetry" and "Song" are promised as well, and a before-the-show fundraising reception on Friday night also includes poetry and entertainment.

The Sunday show at the Crenshaw Boulevard stage is a matinee and kids are absolutely encouraged to attend any of the performances.

In fact, it's a wonderful way to get to know the spirit and messages of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, creativity, and purpose are among them -- and also introduce a child with an interest in dance to the esteemed troupe's school, which welcomes students as young as 3 into the Tiny Tots program. Students later join the Youth Dance Ensemble, at age 7.

Further, students dance in the Kwanzaa performances each year come the end of December. Consider a visit to a Kwanzaa night of dual purpose: To learn more of "purpose" and the other tenets of the holiday while enjoy a beautiful night of dance and to encourage your kids to consider dance as a prospective extracurricular. 

Holidays really are about the ideals of the future, after all, and never simply the day, or days, upon which they fall.

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