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Forces of Nature Dance Theatre

Press Coverage

Utilizing a unique blend of performing arts, including modem dance, traditional West African dance, live and recorded music, and the martial arts, FORCES OF NATURE specializes in choreo-dramatic theater, earning the praise of critics and audiences wherever they perform. Some of the most notable critics taking public interest in F.O.N.D.T. extend cross country and include the New York Times, The Village Voice, Dance Magazine, The Washington Post, Mexico City News, San Antonio Express-News, Seattle Times and beyond.

Metro Times

“Unpredictable, introspective, forceful, subtle. Trying to assemble adjectives to describe New York’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company is like trying to convey the intricacies of someone’s multiple personalities. The company employs a fiery mixture of modern dance, traditional West African dance, live and recorded music, and martial arts movement.”

” . . . bursting with passion” ” , , , inhibition is alien and expression is queen” ” . . . hypnotizing”.

” . . . unabashed physicality” ” . . . never falling victim to predictability”

“Ambitious? Yes. Successful? Naturally?”

“This aptly name collective explores the cycle of life and the struggle between humankind and nature.”

- Katie McGowan


The New York Times

“Mr. Salaam has become a sophisticated milder of dance forms.”

“Trained in modem dance, ballet, jazz and traditional African dancing, Mr. Salaam works with traditional ritual and dance forms, moving beyond reproduction or reanimation to dance that is not simply African or Afro-American but a vibrant expression of a newer culture drawn in part from dance of the 1980s in New York. The performers personify that newer tradition in their skill, graciousness and lack of pretension.” 


-  Jennifer Dunning

“The 10 people that Mr. Salaam placed in his wilderness did more than dance well; they did so in such a way that it was easy to forget they were human beings. The intensity of both creations (“Passion Fruit” and “Night Predators”) was compelling.”


- Jack Anderson

“Vibrant…Visionary… Astonishing”

“Exciting… Lavish… and Beautiful”

“Spectacular… Lush pageantry… Daringly theatrical!”

“Abdel R. Salaam… A choreographer with a sure and unmistakable voice of his own… Mr. Salaam works with traditional ritual and dance forms, moving beyond reproduction to dance… that is a vibrant expression of a new culture.”

“The second standout was Forces of Nature, and the powerful opening section of Abdel R. Salaam’s “Vision 5 — A Question of Modesty” looked back at the ways harsh representatives of Christianity and Islam tried to enforce foreign notions of morality as Africans were shipped as slaves to the Americas. Mr. Salaam’s lilting, sensuous choreography for the women was particularly striking, as was the staging.”

“Received with a tumultuous standing ovation from the audience”

“Exciting, beautiful-looking and thought-provoking, ”Terrestrial Wombs” may well become a signature work for Mr. Salaam and his vibrant company”

“The theme was fascinating…All the episodes were wonderfully energetic”

“Lovers were swept away by erotic storms in “Passion Fruit.”

“…this television documentary (“Free to Dance!”… a broadcast as part of the ”Dance in America” series on PBS) provided a tantalizing preview. But the main attractions onstage were works by Forces of Nature Dance Theater Company, whose director and choreographer is Abdel R. Salaam. In keeping with the spirit… Mr. Salaam devoted himself to tradition and transformation with equal fervor.”

Dance Magazine

“In Vision 5—A Question of Modesty, Harlem’s venerable Forces of Nature Dance Theatre takes a different approach.”


“Choreographer Abdel R. Salaam employs a collage of ballet, modern, and African movements, performed with exacting beauty, to examine how religion has sought to control the bodies of African women.”

“Vision 5, like DanceAfrica, is large in spirit and import.”

- Eva Yaa Asantewaa


Mexico City News


“Forces of Nature … provides an experience that rips through one’s ideas of what the body can express.”

“The hallmark of the company is its unity, a homogeneity and discipline which are able to create an atmosphere of abandon and constant breakthrough.”

-  Marina Lopez


Attitude – The Dancers’ Magazine


“…Abdel R.Salaam’s choreography is unusual, transcendent, ecstatic…imaginatively fused ideas…visualized against an amalgam of rhythms…the spirit of powerful positive energy…truly a welcome gift!”  


“Forces On Broadway rocked the Duke on 42nd Street Theater, and made it steam, swim and soar”

“…Abdel Salaam contemplates every traditional movement for its potential meaning in the choreographic FUSIONS that are the signature of his Forces Of Nature Dance Theater”

“…with his early training as a visual artist in costume design, experience as a theater director and fascination with ancient history and lore, the company’s multi-faceted Founder/Artistic Director thrives on nothing better than mixing and reinventing myths from all ages, translating his vision into music and dance and staging all the components right down through the last vivid details of costumes and lighting

“Abdel R. Salaam’s choreography is unusual, transcendent, ecstatic! It’s imaginative fused ideas… Visualized against an amalgam of rhythms… Was the spirit of positive energy… Truly a welcome gift!”

- Kafusto Inkanyezi


San Antonio Express News


“…Beginning with a clap of thunder and ending with the crash of pounding surf, the Forces of Nature Dance Theater took the stage by storm…”


“the powerful, multi-ethnic troupe conveyed Abdel R. Salaam’s cultural, social and ecological themes with both wild abandon and controlled strength!”

“ripe…erotic…intricately complex physical and emotional couplings…meticulous moves…”

“Salaam has pushed the limits of what human bodies can achieve…mesmerizing, undulating, sinewy movement…dancing brought the cheering audience to its  feet for the first of three standing ovations!”

- Julie Catalano


Midland Reporter-Telegram


“Forces of Nature was a whirlwind of energy and talent”


“…blew through the Cole theater Saturday night, leaving behind a stunned audience whispering about its incredible energy”

“…amazing… a remarkable dance troupe”

“…fiery , tender, teasing…a kaleidoscope of often seductive creatures…”


Seattle Times


“If dance is a global language, then Abdel Salaam’s vocabulary is ever-expanding…the New-York choreographer has traveled the world in his quest to communicate through dance!”  


“it’s been done before, but never quite like this…”

“Salaam, trained in modern dance, ballet, jazz and African dance, has taught, performed and choreographed on four continents…What’s unique about him is the diversity of dance and forms he brings to the table”

“Salaam, who directs the Forces of Nature dance company based at St. John the Divine in New York City, knows all about fusing diverse styles. ”

- Lynn Jacobson


The Post and Courier


“Eclipse: Visions of the Crescent and the Cross” is the ambitious work of Abdel R. Salaam and was performed Friday night to a packed Charleston Music Hall. Described as a “choreo-journey exploring the conflicts and similarities between Islam and Christianity from the crusades until present day, the piece succeeds as a very satisfying evening of dance and theater".


“Drummers share the stage and ignite the air with authentic rhythms that drive the dancers in a vibrant expression of African culture”

“full of powerful imagery, convincing acting and virtuosic movement”

“The ensemble of dancers truly excel, which continues to follow social and religious traditions from many parts of the globe”

- Eliza Ingle


Times Union, Massachusetts


“The powerful, multi-ethinic troupe conveyed Abdel R. Salaam’s cultural, social, and ecological themes with both wild abandon and controlled strength”


“… Highly ordered choreographer works”

“… A riveting odyssey through time and space!… Mesmerizing”



The Washington Post


“[Passion Fruit] in its lighting, costuming, music, pacing, choreography and sizzling performance, was nothing short of sensational, yet managed to avert sensationalism altogether.”


- Alan Kriegsman


The Village Voice


“…Forces of Nature proves the value of variety. Since traditional dances are commonly performed during long celebrations, dynamics are subtle and relaxed much of the time, with occasional explosions. A range of qualifies is what gives African dance its texture and contrast.”

- Sally Sommer

Harlem World / Walter’s World


”Abdel Salaam – A Force of Nature . . . atmospheric, with a strong use of theater . . . Speaking in a strong choreographic voice, Mr. Salaam utilized a rich and diverse movement palette . . .”


“an ambitious evening . . . of works that were social commentary on the environment, the human spirit, and the elements.”

” . . . great prowess (superior skill, exceptional ability) . . . ”

“symmetry that resisted convention . . . a master craftsman . . . be (Mr. Salaam) will remain a force to be reckoned with.”

- Walter Rutledge

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