Since its founding in 1981 by Artistic Director/Choreographer Abdel R. Salaam and Managing Director Olabamidele Husbands, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company has produced professional ballets, conducted dance classes and presented concerts and educational programs in New York City, the United States and throughout the world. The company mixes a unique blend of performing arts, including contemporary modern dance, traditional West African dance, ballet, house and hip-hop forms as well as live and recorded music and the martial arts. In 2016, Forces of Nature was featured in the three-part PBS “Great Performances” special on the history of Black dance in the 20th Century, entitled Free to Dance, and 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. Abdel Salaam is also artistic director of Brooklyn’s DanceAfrica festival, director of the Harlem Children’s Zone/Forces of Nature Youth Academy of Dance, and the artistic director of an annual Kwanzaa celebration at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Forces of Nature has also been presented as part of the First International Black Dance Festival (UK); the International Dance Festival in Aruba; the 2nd International Grand Festival of Mexico, receiving the National Critics and Theater Award for Best Dance Company and Most 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. Forces of Nature has gained national and international recognition for its work with youth of all ages through workshops, master classes and training seminars. Currently in partnership with the Harlem Children Zone, the company runs ongoing programs for schools, community service organizations, and cultural art institutions.