Kutiro with Ousmane Sall
Learn Kutiro rhythms and dances with Ousmane Sall! Cumbe is excited to offer you a chance to learn the high energy Kutiro dances from the Cassamance region, south of Senegal. Kutiro, named for the the drum used to play the dance’s rhythms, is inspired by nature and traditional activities. The Kutiro family of dances are often fast-paced and feature intricate footwork and expressive arm movements. The dance Ekonkon, for example, draws its movements from rice planting and harvesting, while the movements in Linjin emulate a flying crane! Ousmane brings a warmth and presence into the classroom that encourages each student to feel at ease, inspiring the freedom to open up to the rhythm.
Sabar with Lamine Thiam
With Live Drumming
You’ll learn two key styles of West African dance in this class: Sabar and Djembe. Sabar’s celebratory rhythm is featured in the music of Youssou N’Dour and is aerial and sensual, with high kicks and jumps. Djembe dances mark everything from everyday events (farming, hunting) to special occasions (birth, marriage) and express strength, playfulness, exuberance, grace, and more. Master teacher Lamine Thiam comes from a line of Senegalese griots, and will teach the fundamentals of West African dance and ground you in an understanding of the accompanying drum rhythms.
Beginning West African with Darian Parker
Learn the basics of West African dance in these introductory classes designed to make the shyest new dancers feel welcome, have fun, and build the confidence to get on the dance floor. If you’ve always wanted to start dancing but felt intimidated, our Absolute Beginner classes are for you! Or if you want to get back to basics and learn the footwork from the ground up, these are also for you. The amazing Darian Parker will return to Cumbe to breakdown and share the soulful and intricate dances of Mali, West Africa. Class begins with a warm-up that is designed to improve flexibility, strengthen the core, improve stamina, and get acquainted with West African music. The second part of the class starts with a brief history and context of the dances (that will inform your execution of the movements) and continues with an extensive breakdown of technique. Then, you’ll practice what you’ve learned as you move across the floor.
West African Dance & Drumming with Vado Diomande
Explore the heart of all West African musical traditions: the drum. Learn to play the many parts of djembe, doundoun, songbas and kenkenes with Vado Diomande, life-long drummer, drum-maker and repairer. Learn to play accompaniment lines to Kookoo, Temate, Katana, Bolohi, N’Goron and more as you build up to playing lead drum. Growing up in the rich musical culture of West Africa, Vado learned both dance and drum at an early age. Vado’s wealth of knowledge demonstrates the fascinating patterns and rich tapestries of Ivory Coast drumming. Master dancer, teacher, choreographer and drummer Vado Diomande was initiated as a youth to be the keeper of the sacred mask stilt-dance for his village in the Ivory Coast.
Vado draws on the rich and diverse dance tradition from the Ivory Coast. With over 60 different ethnic traditions, the variety of steps and rhythms taught is complex, exciting and vigorous. Class is taught first with a simple 20-minute warm-up, followed by 30 minutes of learning steps to a particular dance. Drumming begins and the dance is performed as a whole. Then steps are practiced across the floor with the drums to several other dance rhythms for about 40 minutes, culminating in a final run-through of the learned dance in front of the drums. Spontaneous solos are also performed at the end of class with the drums.
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Traditional and Contemporary African Congolese with Funmilayo Chesney
Go deeper into your core and connect with your body with the healing movements of Congolese Dance. Called the ‘medicine dance,’ Congolese dance has therapeutic properties that open your heart, body and soul. Additionally, the unique grooves of Congolese are the root of many forms of dance we know and love such as Hip Hop, Salsa, Merengue, Reggae and Samba, among others. Accompanied by live drumming, this class invites you to not only have fun, but to also get an incredible work out. Forget the gym, dance with Funmi! Join Master Dance Instructor and Artistic Director of Fusha Dance Company, Funmilayo in the healing power of dance.
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