Dundun Dance Classes in July

Exciting news: There will be three weeks of Dundun Dance classes Tuesdays in July at The Dance Hall taught by Liz Fowler.

Join us Tuesday, July 7, 14, and 21 for a fantastic way to exercise your body and your brain! During the three weeks you’ll learn one (or two) Guinea style dundun dances.

5:30 to 6:30 pm
$12 each class or $30 if you pre-pay for all three classes.

Please bring your own dundun and sticks if you’re able. Anyone who doesn’t have a drum must sign up ahead to ensure there will be a drum available.

If you’re not sure what dundun dancing is, check out this video of one of my teachers, Abdoulaye Sylla, leading a workshop in Seattle.

For more information, email Liz:
seacoastdanceanddrum@gmail.com

img_7119

Weekly Classes and Upcoming Performances

West African Drum and Dance classes are continuing every Thursday at the Dance Hall throughout the summer.

Join us any Thursday!

Drum with Namory Keita
5:30 to 6:30 pm
$10.00

Dance with Liz Fowler (Namory and many folks from the drum class stay to accompany)
6:30 to 8:00 pm
$12.00 or $80.00 for eight pre-paid classes (please use within twelve weeks)

Both classes are open to all levels! You’re always welcome!
flyer

Upcoming Performances

Sunday, June 14
We will be in Portland, ME at the Old Port Festival 4:00 pm.

Dancer and teacher from Portland, Marita Kennedy-Castro will perform along with Namory, Liz, and members of the Kittery drum and dance classes.

Saturday, June 20
We’ll be back at the Kittery Block Party again this year!

We’re on at 11:30 am and 3:15 pm. Come check out what our weekly classes have been up to and join in the dancing!
img_7119

Youssouf Koumbassa returns to New England

In just over a month, Youssouf Koumbassa, world renowned dancer and teacher, will return to lead workshops in Kittery and Portland, ME as well as Cambridge, MA! Namory Keita will lead the drumming accompaniment for classes in all three locations and will teach a drum class in Kittery.

Friday, May 15
The Dance Complex
536 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA

6:00 to 7:30 pm
$16.00

Saturday, May 16
Woodford’s Club
Portland, ME
Youssouf will be teaching as part of the Mini Guinea Fest, a celebration Namory Keita’s relocation to Portland and 10 years of West African dance in their community. Share the joy and come to the Mini Guinea Fest!

4:00 to 5:30 pm
$15.00 in advance or $18.00 at the door

Sunday, May 17
The Dance Hall
7 Walker Street
Kittery, ME

Drum class with Namory Keita
noon to 1:30 pm
$15.00 in advance or $18.00 at the door

Dance class with Youssouf Koumbassa
1:45 to 3:15 pm
$15.00 in advance or $18.00 at the door

Youssouf Koumbassa is one of the world’s most sought after teachers of West African dance. He was a principal dancer with Ballet Djoliba, one of the national companies in Guinea, before relocating to the US more than 25 years ago.

He is a simultaneously graceful and powerful dancer, with an incredible gift for teaching. He leads workshops and conferences all over the world from Japan to Israel to California – and Maine.

Namory Keita was the lead drummer (djembefola) in his village of Sangbarala, Guinea before moving to the United States in 2010. He has taught workshops all over the world and has recently settled in to Portland, ME, maintaining his teaching schedule in Kittery and Cambridge, MA, as well as in Portland. Namory is a talented and patient teacher. You can expect to sharpen your skills and smile a lot – along with Namory – when you take a class with him.

Youssouf Koumbassa demonstrates a move

Thursday, March 12

Thursday evening, March 12, there will be no West African drum or dance classes, because Namory and Liz will be at a performance with students at the Mitchell School in Kittery Point.

We are part-way through a week long residency with third graders at the Horace Mitchell School. What fun for all of us! In addition to drumming and dancing, the kids have been learning about Guinea – including a little geography, history, and some Malenke words.

We’ve been teaching the students both the drum and dance parts to rhythms called Kuku and Balakulandjan.

We will be back at the Dance Hall on March 19 and will see you then!

Namory Keita with students in Kittery

Global Rhythms: Workshops with Ismael ‘Bonfils’ Kouyate

Join us for a weekend of workshops and performances with internationally acclaimed artist Ismael ‘Bonfils’ Kouyate and several other Guinean musicians: January 17-18!

Ismael Bonfils Kouyate

Workshops and performance in Kittery, January 17, 2015
11:30 to 12:30 Song accompanied on balafon by Abou Sylla **Pre-registration required** $12 ahead or $15 day of at door
12:30 to 1:30 Drum with Namory Keita $12 ahead or $15 day of at door
1:30 to 3:00 Dundun Dance (drum and dance together!) $17 advance or $20 day of at door
3:00 to 4:30 Dance $17 advance or $20 day of at door

All workshops – $50 in advance $60 day of at the door

Performance 7pm featuring Bonfils Kouyate, Abou Sylla, Namory Keita, and other special guests including students from weekly classes in both Portland and Kittery
$12 in advance
$15 day of at the door

Register for classes and get tickets for the performance through Brown Paper Tickets.

Workshops in Portland January 18, 2015

12:30-1:30pm Drum with Namory Keita $12 ahead or $15 day of at door
Bring a drum or contact us ahead to see about borrowing a drum
1:45-2:45pm Song with Bonfils Kouyate accompanied on balafon by Abou Sylla **Pre-registration required** $12 ahead or $15 day of at door
3:00-4:30pm Dundun Dance (drum and dance together!) $17 advance or $20 day of at door
4:45-6:15pm Dance $17 advance or $20 day of at door

Register for classes through Brown Paper Tickets.

And there’s more! Bonfils, who played a major role in the Broadway production of Fela!, will be a special guest performer with Shango at the Dance Hall on Friday, January 16 at 8pm!

Ismael “Bonfils” Kouyate comes from a family of artists in Guinea. He performed and toured the world with Les Ballets Africains, one of Guinea’s national ballets. Between 2009 and 2012, he performed in the production of Fela!, both on Broadway and in the world tour. Bonfils maintains a regular teaching schedule in NYC and is sought after to teach at workshops around the country. In addition he performs with his band Ismael Kouyate: Waraba Band. During his run on Broadway he was noticed by Beyoncé Knowles, who quickly picked him up to be a featured vocalist on her hit song Grown Woman.

10801730_1378148169152856_4489800926769698990_n

Save the Date

We’ve got exciting news for 2015! Ismael “Bonfils” Kouyate is coming to Maine to teach song, dance, and dundun dance classes in both Kittery and Portland.

Save the dates:

  • Saturday, January 17 at The Dance Hall in Kittery, ME, capped off by an evening performance along with several other musicians and dancers from Guinea
  • Sunday, January 18 in Portland, ME

Bonfils comes from a family of artists in Guinea. He performed with Les Percussions de Guinea and Les Ballets Africains, one of Guinea’s national ballets. Between 2009 and 2012, he performed in the production of Fela!, both on Broadway and in the world tour. Bonfils maintains a regular teaching schedule in NYC and is sought after to teach at workshops around the country. In addition he performs with his band Ismael Kouyate: Waraba Band.

We are thrilled to be able to welcome Bonfils for his first time teaching in Maine!

Ismael Bonfils Kouyate

November and December

Every Thursday Dance Hall is alive with the rhythms of our weekly drum and dance classes. Join us any Thursday! It will brighten your day!

Drum class with Namory Keita
5:30 to 6:30 pm
$10.00

Dance class with Liz Fowler
6:30 to 8:00 pm
$12.00 per class or $80 for eight pre-paid classes

We’ll be dancing to the rhythm Djansa (Diansa, Yansa, Dansa) which originates from southern Mali for the next few weeks. It’s a first for dance class in Kittery!

There are a few upcoming changes to note:

  • November 6 and 13, Ult Mundane will fill in for Namory to teach drum class
  • November 13, Meaghan Dunn will fill in for Liz to teach dance class
  • No class on November 27 or December 25

The Dance Hall will be hosting the second Global Rhythms Workshop on Sunday, November 23. Join us for Taiko drumming with Elaine Fong. Register ahead through Brown Paper Tickets.

And stay tuned for more information soon about the third Global Rhythms Workshop in January. There will be drumming, dancing, and singing!

Be sure to check back here or on our Facebook page to confirm that class is on if the weather is questionable.

Namory Keita, drummer from Sangbarala, Guinea

Namory Keita

binta in guinea