Mesgana Dancers Arrive in New York

Photo by Steven Dyer of VicRae Inc. for Tadias Magazine.

New York – The much anticipated young dancers of Ethiopia (pictured above with actor/singer Leon yesterday) have arrived in New York to kick-off their millennium celebration tour in the United States.

After a morning appearance on NBC’s The Today Show, they were hosted by actor Leon, best known for starring roles in The Temptations, The Five Heartbeats, Cool Runnings and The Little Richard Story, for a bus tour of New York City.

The troupe of 11 girls, ages 7 to 12, will also be hosted by Reverend Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, one of the oldest, largest and most affluent African American churches in the United States.

According to the church’s official history, in 1808, Ethiopian merchants in New York alongside a few African Americans established the Abyssinian Baptist Church, a.k.a. (ABC).

The church’s official logo, an Ethiopian Cross, was personally presented by Emperor Halie Selassie in highly publicized ceremony in 1954 in Harlem, New York.

Meanwhile, ABC has announced that it is sending 200 churchgoers, dignitaries and media to Ethiopia in September to celebrate the millennium in commemoration of the Church’s 200 years anniversary.

The dance troupe is scheduled to perform at New York University’s Skirtball Center for Performing Arts on Sunday, August 12th.


Mesgana (an Amharic for gratitude), “represents the hope this tour will bring to the girls of Ethiopia”, says the press alert released by the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund, a non-profit organization based in Murray, Utah, and the tour’s primary organizer.

The group is also scheduled to perform in Washington, DC, Columbia, MD, Evanston (Chicago), IL, Atlanta, West Orange, NJ, Denver & Boulder, CO, Salt Lake City, Murray, & St. George, UT, San Jose, Palo Alto, Ontario/Upland, and Los Angeles (San Fernando), CA.

According to the tour organizers, for two hundred to five hundred dollars a year sponsors can send a student to a private school in Ethiopia.

Currently 800 students are enrolled in the program.

The tour also benefits Ethiopia Reads, another non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Yohannes Gebregeorgis and led by the celebrated children’s author Jane Kurtz. The group establishes libraries in schools in Ethiopia and has published many books in Amharic.

Tadias Magazine is proud to be the media sponsor of the New York Tour. To buy tickets for the New York show, CLICK HERE.

4 Responses to “Mesgana Dancers Arrive in New York”

  1. 1 Dureyie Demet Aug 14th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    the girls were amazing!!!!! they are beautiful, humble, talented and bright. The show was excllent along with the costums and music. Thank you thank you. what i didn’t understand was why was LEON there?? why why why someone please explain!

  2. 2 Denise Aug 14th, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Why wouldn’t Leon be there? He had the means and interest to support the dancers so why are you being so devisive? We are all people of the African continent and should learn to love appreciate and respect one another. I saw the girls in Columbia and loved every moment of it. The crowd was diverse and it was awesome. And if you didn’t realize the purpose of the tour was to raise funds for education programs so if Leon and others can bring awareness to the plight of Ethiopia than great. Furthermore I am not Ethiopian I am of a mixed Afro Latin background but I am in the process of adopting my daughter from Ethiopia.

  3. 3 Kiki Aug 20th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I just don’t understand what this is all about.

    Thank you Denise.

    I understand that organizers reached out to a few high profile Ethiopian’s first in order to draw attention, but none responded and then Leon jumped on board right away. Thank you Leon and I love the humanitarian work you do for ALL people. Let us not forget we ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE!


  1. 1 Apology After Mesgana Dancers Tour Controversy at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Aug 20th, 2007 at 4:03 am
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