April Greetings

As we hope many of you have seen, Namory Keita has now had three online drum classes through FB Live (on our Seacoast West African Dance and Drum FB Group and this week he added in Instagram Live through his own account, too! He’ll be on every Thursday from 6-7 PM EDT until further notice. We know it’s a far cry from being together, but it’s what we can do right now! (Classes are at an intermediate-advanced level – follow along where you can, and don’t worry about what you miss.)

Namory is offering these Thursday night classes by donation. You’re welcome to contribute to him on a sliding scale – whatever you’re able – from $0 to $20. PayPal direct to Namory or CashApp or Venmo to Liz. To get our user names, you send an email to Liz seacoastdanceanddrum@gmail.com

Namory is also available to repair drums or tighten up the ropes for folks who are local. Reach out to Namory or Liz if you’re interested!

If you have a good internet connection, there are many ways to stay connected to lots of drum and dance right now. Here are a few things. Feel free to share more ideas with us!

Drum and dance classes

Dance with Marita Kennedy-Castro of Portland, ME Embody the Rhythm Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings via Zoom

Running list of African drum and dance classes from many different timezones and on many different platforms

List of many styles of dance offered online around the US: Dancing Alone Together

Our friend Sayon Camara is going to begin online classes soon. And you can find Theo Martey on his Facebook sharing some drumming as well.

Performances

There are numerous performances being offered online right now, too. Here are some that may be of particular interest.

Alvin Ailey is sharing various pieces of their repertory free online through their Ailey YouTube Channel

The Joyce Theatre is streaming Ronald K Brown Evidence Dance “Grace” through Monday April 6. Check out Evidence Dance Instagram for more.

TedTalk with Camille A Brown on the history of social dance.

These lists aren’t exhaustive – so be sure to reach out if you’ve found some other drum or dance online to sustain you at this time.



We miss drumming and dancing with you all already. All the people in our community near and far are impacted by the effects of Covid-19 and we’re sending out love to all of you.

This week we’re going to try a little test – a drum class with Namory via Facebook Live through our Seacoast West African Dance and Drum Facebook Group We’re expecting that we’ll have a tech glitch or two, but we’d love to have you join in from wherever you are! Class will be from 6-7 p.m. ET. Bring a djembe if you have one. (I’ll be lap drumming since my drums are away from me right now.)

This class will be on a sliding scale from $0.00 to $20.00 – pay what you wish. Reach out to Liz to pay by either Venmo or PayPal. (If you’d like to pay by some other method, suggest that to Namory or Liz and we’ll make it work.) If you’re not able to pay, we totally understand that as well.

After this week’s class we’ll try to get a sense of what worked and what didn’t and may try something different the next time. We know that no matter what technology we use, it will mean that some folks in our community are included and others are excluded. We’re really bummed about that. This week, we’re planning to just have Namory on video and mic, but who knows for next time!

Be well. We miss you. We hope to see you in person really soon.

Namory and Liz

In-person Classes Cancelled through through April 9

Our in-person weekly Guinean style West African drum and dance classes are cancelled for the next several weeks as communities across the globe continue to figure out how to best respond to the Coronavirus.

Our home venue, The Dance Hall, Kittery, Maine is closed until at least April 15 as well. Please consider making a contribution to the Dance Hall to offset this significant loss of income for them. Besides being where we’ve spent every Thursday night for the past nine years, they have hosted incredible, intimate performances of so many genres that have added greatly to our community.

We’re trying to figure out how to get Namory Keita to be able to teach remotely while we all practice some social distancing. If we get that set-up – through Skype or FaceTime or some other video tool, would you be interested in some drum lessons?

Namory Back in Maine

Namory is just back in Maine from his winter visit to Guinea! Join him this Thursday, February 20 in Kittery. (or any Thursday for that matter)

Drum class with Namory
5:30 – 6:30 pm
$15.00

Class with Namory includes both djembe and dundun parts (both accompaniments and solos). Namory’s infectious joy as a drummer and a teacher will inspire you whether it’s your first time playing or you’ve been studying for years.

Dance class with Liz
6:45 – 8:15 pm
$15.00 drop-ins or $96.00 for eight pre-paid classes

Class begins with a warm-up, a combination of stretching and aerobic movement. This is followed by a high-energy class where you will learn a traditional dance from Guinea, including some of the customs around it. You’re welcome to adapt moves to fit your body during warm-up and class.

For more information: seacoastdanceanddrum@gmail.com
Pay by cash, check, Venmo, or PayPal

~Wear comfortable clothing. Dance is traditionally done in bare feet, though you’re welcome to wear soft-soled dance shoes.~

All levels welcome to both drum and dance classes!!

Be sure to bring water to drink.

Fall and Winter Schedules

Namory has arrived in Guinea for his winter visit home. He’s got a busy schedule of leading workshops with drum students from across North America and Europe and he continues to work on his Hamana Arts Center project, building a school for drum and dance education outside of Conakry in Guinea.  Please support him as he works to make this dream come true. 

Reminders: The final drum and dance classes for 2019 at the Dance Hall are December 19. (No classes on Thursday, December 26.) 

Classes will continue every Thursday in 2020, weather dependent. Cancellations will be listed here and our Facebook group in the case of inclement weather.

Drum class will be taught by Ult Mundane through February. 

Drop-ins are welcome at drum or dance anytime. If you need to borrow a djembe for drum class, please let us know in advance.

 

Drum and Dundun Dance with Namory Keita and Seny Daffe

We’re so excited to have Seny Daffe back in Kittery with us on Halloween night!

Namory and Seny will be teaming up for several classes together in NH and Maine:

Tuesday, October 29
Portland New Church
302 Stevens Avenue
Portland, Maine

Drum Class 4:45-5:45pm
Djembe drumming with Namory Keita opens this special evening of classes.
$15 cash or check at the door
BYO djembe, or email Namory to reserve one: info@namorydrum.com

Dance Class 6:00-7:30pm
Seny Daffe guest teaching in Marita’s regular Tuesday class.
$18 cash or check at the door.

Wednesday, October 30
(Old) Bristol Town Hall, 45 Summer Street
Bristol, NH

Drum with Namory
5:30-6:30
$15.00

Dun Dun Dance with Seny
7:00-8:00
$25.00
There will be some drums available, but please let us know ahead if you need one.  Reach out to either Liz Fowler or Cindy Lou Young.

Thursday, October 31
The Dance Hall
7 Walker Street
Kittery, ME

Drum with Namory
5:30-6:30
$15.00

Dundun dance with Seny
6:45-8:15
$18.00 for drop-ins or $15.00 for folks with punch cards (just bring $3.00)

Be sure to let us know if you need a drum for either drum or dundun dance class.
Dress up if you’d like! Free class for best Halloween costume.

group of people standing behind drums
Seny Daffe teaching class in Kittery, June 2019

August Classes, Workshops, and Performances

Namory is traveling much of this month, teaching and performing in Seattle, California, and British Columbia. Though we always miss him while he’s gone, what a gift that we continue with classes.

On August 1, we cut dance class a little short and made the trek from Kittery to Portsmouth. We watched some wonderful salsa and then shared a couple of Guinean rhythms and dances with Salsa Secrets Salsa in the Park. It was wonderful to bring two of the seacoast’s dance communities together during a summer evening.

group of people standing together with a djembe
Drummers and Dancers from Thursday night classes at the Dance Hall at Salsa Secrets: Salsa in the Park

Thursday, August 15 at the Dance Hall
Drum class with Michael Pluznick. Michael has been teaching percussion for 40 years and we’re lucky to have him teach while he’s visiting Maine
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
$15.00
Dance class with Liz Fowler starts with a warm-up and stretching and is followed by a high energy dance from Guinea. You’ll learn some of the context for when the dance is done.
Wear clothes you’re comfortable moving in. Dance is usually done in bare feet but you’re welcome to wear clean soft soled shoes
6:45 to 8:15 p.m.
$15.00 for drop-ins or $96.00 for eight pre-paid classes

Drum and Dance with Namory and Seny
Thursday, August 22
The Dance Hall
Kittery, ME
Drum with Namory
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
$15.00
Dundun dance with Seny Daffe
6:45 to 8:15 p.m.
$18.00 for drop-ins or $15 for folks with punch cards (pay just $3 extra)
Join us for an incredible evening as Guinean artists Namory Keita and Seny Daffe team up once again to share their gifts of drum, dance, and song.
Here’s a glimpse of dundun dance class with Seny and Namory from April.

Dance class with Seny Daffe
Friday, August 23
Portland New Church
302 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME
Accompaniment led by Namory Keita
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
$16 to $20 sliding scale
Cash at door please

Performance:New Moon Ensemble ~ Guinea Style West African Dance & Drumming
Saturday, August 24
Congress Square Park
Portland, ME
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
FREE
Performance and dance lesson with Marita Kennedy-Castro, Namory Keita, members of Portland’s New Moon Ensemble, and several special guests
More information at Embody the Rhythm.

Drum and Dance Workshops and other June Events

Seny Daffe and Namory Keita just wrapped up four days of classes together in Maine and NH, and they will be collaborating again soon!

Drum and Dundun Dance Classes
Wednesday, June 12
Bristol, NH
(stay tuned for exact location)

Drum with Namory
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Dundun dance with Seny
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Be sure to pre-register, especially if you need to borrow a drum for either class

$20.00 per person for each session

Drum and Dundun Dance Classes
Thursday, June 13
The Dance Hall
7 Walker Street
Kittery, ME

Drum with Namory
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
$15.00

Dundun dance with Seny
6:45 – 8:15 p.m.
$18.00 for drop-ins or $3.00 extra for students with punch cards

Kittery Block Party
Come check out Namory, Seny, and the drummers and dancers from Thursday night classes!
Saturday, June 15
We’ll be performing in the morning and afternoon. check back for exact times.

Juneteenth
Saturday, June 22
Namory and folks from our drum and dance classes with be participating in the Juneteenth events at the Portsmouth African Burying Ground.
Juneteenth: Celebrating New Englands 18th Century Negro Courts

Two drummers smiling and wearing headdresses
Namory and Seny

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