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Bokandeye Troupe Brings Africa to New Rochelle

The free performance Tuesday is the final one in the International Music and Dance series.

The final performance in the 's International Music and Dance series will feature a New Rochelle staple: the Bokandeye African Dance and Drum Troupe.

Directed by Anthony Wooden Sr., the group will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Ossie Davis Theater., 1 Library Plz. in New Rochelle.

Wooden said his group will show dances and play music that relate the rich cultural traditions of African villages.

"I want to show the family unit in the community, with children, teens and adults working as a family," he said.

The word Bokandeye actually means "family from the same mother; united," Wooden said.

In addition to his troupe members, who span all ages, he said there will be community participation during the performance.

"I encourage that because we are not there to just entertain," Wooden said. "We are there to enjoy each other as a family."

Bringing in the audience to perform as well makes it more like a family unit, he added.

Wooden said he enjoys performing at the library and that his members are always excited when a performance is scheduled there.

"The audience is always welcoming to us," he said, "with open arms."

The library, Wooden said, really does showcase diverse cultures in the community.

"I can say that I am really thankful for the New Rochelle Public Library," he said, "because they help us learn and respect each other's cultures."

Now in its 29th year, the International Music and Dance Series showcases the diverse cultures of the city.

Admission is free and is geared for families. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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