Wednesday, October 31, 2007

African Dance

I took a great afro-caribbean dance class last night. It was a lot of fun. There were 3 drummers: djembe, conga, and one with a couple of dunduns and a cowbell. The teacher, Marika, is a cute small funky girl. She was lots of fun. She said she teaches Haitain, Cuban and something else, all in one class. She also funks it up, which makes it much more fun for me.

It was a lot of fun and I hear people chanting on the ceiling. It’s really due to the vibrations and acoustics of the room, etc, but there was a time when I actually believed it was people’s dead ancestors. I read about in some of these articles, which are great:

I’ve taken sabar dance from Senegal with Babacar M’Baye before and Guinea West African Djembe with Thulani, who is a friend of mine. Thulani also plays sabar and sings in the Jane Getter Band. That’s where I got the desire to check out the sabar class, it can be funky. The Senegalese dance on the offbeat, like funk. I kind of stopped because it was rough on my feet. This afro-caribbean fun class is more to my liking. It’s only an hour, so we don’t do the technique part, which is the part I’m not crazy about. That’s because I don’t like being told what to do, and the teacher is very intent on us learning the proper techniques. They don’t even like us to dance if we aren’t good at it. I also found the sabar class wasn’t as good because it’s only 3 sabars. Thulani had djembe and dundun and it is much better. She’s taking a break from teaching, but I’d go back if she started up again. I keep looking out for Cheikh M’Baye and Sing Sing Rhythms, who sometimes play in NYC. I believe there’s more than just sabar and Babacar dances in that.

This is a pretty cool link to look at different types of drums:

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