This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Art4Moore Foundation, and the Sewing Machine Project.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let's Dance

Ausettua AmorAmenkum, Director of Kumbuka African Dance & Drum Collective, stopped by this past Friday to teach students a few dance moves. She helped them see the link between dances that are familiar to them as New Orleanians and African and Caribbean dances. Assettua also masks as a Mardi Gras Indian Queen.

Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective is dedicated to the preservation of African and African-American folklore through the medium of dance, music and song. Kumbuka consists of fifteen men, women, and children, ranging in ages from 9 to 55. This collection of artists are dancers, musicians, jewelers, drum makers, and costume designers. These artists have studied extensively in Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and St. Louis. Kumbuka's objectives whenever performing are to increase knowledge of African culture, demonstrate the significance that African culture has in elevating self-esteem, self-view, and self-knowledge of young persons, familiarize the audience with rhythms, music, and movement, and strengthen ability, stamina, flexibility, and agility. The repertoire consists of dances from Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Haiti, and New Orleans.

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