About Forces of Nature
40+ Years of Cultural Excellence & Artistic Expression
Executive Artistic Director/Choreographer Abdel R. Salaam and Executive Managing Director Olabamidele Husbands co-founded the critically acclaimed Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company in 1981. Forces of Nature, along with founding company member and principal soloist Dyane Harvey have produced and presented professional ballets and concerts, conducted master classes, seminars, workshops and educational programs in New York City, the United States and throughout the world for over 42 years. Throughout its four decades plus in the dance world, the company has received funding and support from numerous organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts,The New York State Council for the Arts,The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, New York Foundation on the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Howard Gilman Foundation,The Bronx Council on the Arts,The Mertz Gilmore Foundation,The New York Community Trust, Arts International, Mid Atlantic Arts, US Artists International and The International Association of Blacks in Dance. In past seasons, Forces of Nature received two National Dance Project grants including funding for the creation and touring of “Rhythm Legacy” in over 22 cities and the company’s second NDP-funded project “Eclipse: Visions of the Crescent and the Cross”. Forces of Nature’s cultural matrix is centered in an African and an American intelligence that is global and environmental. Its aesthetic has been critically acclaimed as visceral, thought provoking and creatively brilliant. Forces of Nature utilizes a unique blend of performing arts, which includes contemporary modern dance, traditional West African dance, Afro-beat, Fusion,Contemporary ballet, house and hip-hop forms as well as live and recorded music and the martial arts. The company has performed and toured widely throughout the U.S. and abroad. In addition to annual appearances at Aaron Davis Hall (1986-2004) The Brooklyn Academy of Music (2016-Present), the Apollo Theater in Harlem (2007-Present) and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1990-Present) Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company has been presented by the Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Tennessee Performing Arts Center ,The American Dance Festival, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) conference, among many other venues. Internationally, Forces of Nature has also been presented as part of the First International Black Dance Festival (UK); Italy,International Dance Festival in Aruba, Belize and Grenada, the 2nd International Grand Festival of Mexico, receiving the National Critics and Theater Award for Best Dance Company and Outstanding New Choreographer; and the 12th Annual Festival for Peace in Moscow, as engaged in historic cultural exchange with members of the Bolshoi Ballet. Forces of Nature led the historical procession for Nelson Mandela during his first appearance in the United States in 1990. In addition to numerous television appearances in the eighties and nineties, Forces of Nature was featured in the Emmy Award winning 3 part PBS “Great Performances” documentary on the history of Black dance in the 20th Century entitled “Free to Dance”. Forces of Nature was also the featured dance company in a film project with the National Association of Black Museums on the influence of African American dance in Western culture entitled, “When the Spirit Moves”, culminating in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Forces of Nature was the featured company in the dance films “Dawnfeather Rising” (2020) and the “Nguzo Saba” (2021) for the Apollo Theater. Additionally in 2021, the company was featured in the film “Earthborn” as part of the 44th Annual Dance Africa Celebration at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In recent years Forces of Nature received the Kwanzaa 50th Anniversary Award in Excellence from the Apollo Theater, The Kuumba Award from the New York Kwanzaa Holiday Foundation, The 41st Annual Dance Company of the Year Audelco Recognition for Excellence in Black Theater, and the 2017 Outstanding Production Bessie Award for the “Healing Sevens”. In addition to performing and touring widely throughout the U.S. and abroad, Forces of Nature has gained national and international recognition for its work with youth of all ages through workshops, master classes and training seminars. Through the development of ongoing programs offered to schools, community service organizations and cultural art institutions, the company currently in partnership with the Harlem Children Zone, has found that the arts coupled with informative, stimulating academic presentations and creative participation, serve as one of the best tools in educating our young and redirecting them toward a progressive alternative path. In 2019 the company, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre / Youth Academy of Dance and Wellness toured and performed in the cities of Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa.