Kulu Mele - African American Dance Ensemble


Inspired by the voices of its ancestors, Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble preserves and presents the traditional dance and music of Africa and the African Diaspora, and celebrates contemporary African American culture.


Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kulu Mele has been a highly regarded cultural institution in the Delaware Valley for nearly 50 years.  Kulu Mele’s performance repertoire features authentic, traditional dance and drumming from West Africa, Cuba and (coming Fall, 2016) Brazil, as well as contemporary American hip hop.  Kulu Mele performs year-round throughout Philadelphia and tours nationally and internationally.  Kulu Mele has performed at some of world’s most prestigious performing arts venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Hall at The Los Angeles Music Center.  In September, 2015, Kulu Mele performed as part of the official entertainment during the Philadelphia visit of Pope Francis.  Kulu Mele’s extensive arts education program, Omo Kulu Mele, serves thousands of Philadelphia school children annually.  Founded in 1969 by Baba Robert Crowder, Kulu Mele has been led by artistic director Dorothy Wilkie for more than 25 years.


Kulu Mele in the Media

“Kulu Mele’s expertly crafted artistry emphasizes the enduring power of community.”
R. Eric Thomas, thINKingDANCE.net


“Kulu Mele is deeply committed to maintaining African based traditions; it invites audiences into the beauty, mystery and glamour of the true African aesthetic.”
Janet Anderson, Broad Street Review


“Kulu Mele is spellbinding.”
Merilyn Jackson, The Philadelphia Inquirer

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