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APRIL 12 & 13

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In Africa, the drum is the great communicator, calling the community together when it is time to mourn and when it is time to rejoice. Images of Cultural Artistry, the company founded by Sherrill Berryman-Johnson over 10 years ago, attempts to capture this through dance. Based on the pioneering work of Katherine Dunham, ICA’s style fuses traditional African and Caribbean movement with modern dance. “Women of the Hills…Treading the Waters of Cultural Terrains,” the troupe’s latest showcase, will feature six premieres as well as an international array of guest artists. Berryman-Johnson and playwright Sybil Roberts will present their collaboration Song of Songoma…the Glass Dove, a ritualistic piece that will soon be performed in South Africa. Messengers of a Higher Calling gives praise to guiding ancestral spirits, and Release the Power contrasts traditional values with those of the modern world. The titles of the pieces can be heady, but then again so can the intoxicating spirits of dance and the drum. At 8 p.m. Saturday & 7 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $12. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)