Drum & Dance Classes
Classes will be taught by focused, professional artists selected from Ballet Djioliba and Ballets Africains, the two most beloved national drum and dance performance troupes in Guinea. Artists are chosen for their talent, passion, and dedication to their craft, as well as their strong teaching skills and commitment to each student’s growth and development. Travelers will chose between a dance or a drum focus.
The dance intensive will emphasize Guinean dance technique and style, proper posture and aliment, complex movement phrases, the connection to the music, the cultural component of each dance, and the body’s relaxation and enjoyment of the movements.
“I feel so blessed to have experienced the Alseny-Andrea dance instruction. I got the authentic Guinea dance collaboration with soul and simplicity. Alseny delivers a high spirited routine of complex movements, and Andrea facilitates, breaks the step down, and also explains the deeper meaning of the dance. Charged with energy, drenched with sweat and feet rapping to the drums, this complete release remains within me as an oasis of joy!” Nina H, Brooklyn, NY 2004/2005
“Alseny is an inspiring and beautiful dancer. As a teacher he is encouraging and gently pointed out ways to improve my technique. His sense of humor and patience helped me keep my spirits up even when I was having a challenging time learning. I also greatly benefited from Andrea’s mastery of Susu and her insight into Guinean culture and life. Getting our deposit back from a drunk boat driver, haling a cab with complex hand signals, knowing where to find quality fabric at a good price in a crowded market, explaining that when a Guinean asks you out for a drink, you pay–Andrea knows and handles it all with skill and grace!” Kristine D, Eugene, OR 2004 & 2005
The drum intensive will emphasize a holistic understanding of Guinean poly-rhythms and how all the parts sound and fit together, including complex djembe phrases and percussion arrangements, dundun dialogs and variations, bells parts, traditional solo phrasing, improvisation, marking dancers, clarity of notes and projection of sound. The drummer’s training will consist of formal classes combined with playing for the dance classes in a facilitated environment to increase strength, endurance and speed.
Upon completion of these three week intensives students will see improved strength, flexibility, range, ease of motion, endurance, understanding and integration of new concepts into one’s discipline, ability to improvise in a solo circle, and ability to take bigger risks as a way of gaining versatility and artistry.
We make every effort to provide a ballanced workshop environment that allows for intensive study as well as time to relax and enjoy the cultural opportunities that this exchange provides. On holidays and travel days, due to busy schedules and limited hours of the day, class schedules may be modified accordingly. Please browse the sample schedule by clicking here.