Be the Light Dancing Through Darkness.

Happy Winter y’all!
TUESDAY DEC 10 we bid bon voyage to our drummer Namory Keita, for his annual winter trip to Guinea.

We’re COLLECTING DONATIONS of warm-weather clothing and medical supplies for Namory to take along with him. If you miss the opportunity to donate in dance class, you can donate financially to support the building of Hamana Art Center, by clicking HERE.

Hamana Art Center, Art & Culture Center in Guinea ~ Under Construction

~ Dancing Through Darkness ~
In the dark days of winter,it’s ever more apparent how good it feels to dance our hearts out and find warmth together in community.
Together we create light.


Our last TUESDAY class in 2019 will be Dec 17 – Share in an early Solstice Celebration by wearing white/bright colors, and/or bring a votive candle to light, if you wish.
Tuesday classes will resume Jan 7, 2020..  Meanwhile:

Our Upcoming FRIDAY class series begins Dec 27  – Early Registration Discount is still live through December 13th ~ Reserve your spot or PURCHASE THE GIFT OF DANCE  for a loved one, today.

Friday Morning Series in Guinea Style West African Dance 
8 Weeks
Dec 27 – Feb 14

9:00am -10:00am
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME

These lively classes are designed for beginner and intermediate students, bringing community together through the healing power of movement and music. We will focus on heart and hip opening movements that support a solid foundation in Guinea style West African dance. No experience required.

We warm up to lively contemporary music from West Africa and dance to the smoking traditional rhythms recorded by my teachers.

Early Registration Discount – (Register by December 13)
$104 cash, check/ $108 online

Registering After December 13 –
$116 cash, check / $120 online
$16 Drop in, any time

Contact Marita to pay by cash/check.

 

Stay up to date on all classes, special guests, performances and other happenings ~

  • Sign up for Embody the Rhythm news by adding your email address in the box on upper right of this page where it says “Stay Tuned”  ~ Be sure to check your inbox to confirm subscription.

  • Follow Embody the Rhythm on Instagram , Facebook

 

In 2020 Embody the Rhythm will continue to inspire Movement Medicine for Social Change, through ongoing financial support of important initiatives lifting up Black and Brown people in Maine, and supporting the development of art and cultural preservation in Guinea, West Africa, the source of our learning in these classes. 

Dancing in Community Compounds Healing

3 More classes in December 2019! NEW CLASSES AND POSTS COMING SOON.

Happy Autumn, y’all!  So many exciting things to share!

New Moon Ensemble wrapped up 3 summer shows in September. Thanks to all who came out!

Preview the hot topics of this post:

Please join us, Friday October 4th at the Greely Center for the Arts, 6:30pm.

Ultra talented, ultra kind human and master drummer Sayon Camara is performing in Cumberland, ME alongside friends and members of New Moon Ensemble for a special fundraiser ~  Hear the beautiful traditional music of Guinea, including the sounds of krin, bolon, djembe, dundunba, sangban and kenkeni. Beautiful art for a great cause! 

Beginning Drum Class with Sayon Camara, Monday October 7th, 6:15 -7:15pm, $15

Sayon is a patient, inspiring teacher and will be guest teaching in Namory’s regular weekly drum class at @ Root Wild Kombucha, 135 Washington Ave., Portland, ME. Bring your djembe or if you need to reserve a drum contact info@namorydrum.com.

Sayon will be guest drummer for Dance Class on Tuesday October 8th!

There’s nothing like seeing Sayon’s glowing smile while you dance.

Dancing Together is Healing ~ Check it out:

This Autumn celebrate freedom of movement in your body, experience the pleasure of live drumming and feel the joy of moving in unison with others. Science confirms, more and more, what so many of us have experienced for decades ~ There are innumerable health benefits to dancing, affecting not just our bodies, but our mind and spirit too.

This article on NPR shares the benefits of dancing in synchrony with others: 
The Health Benefits of Dancing go Beyond Exercise and Stress Reduction

This article from the Journal of Pan African Studies highlights Guinea dance too:
African Dance as Healing Modality Throughout the Diaspora: The Use of Ritual and Movement to Work Through Trauma

 

Friday Morning Dance Series Starts October 4th

Join me for this 8-week series, geared especially for beginners.
I love starting my Fridays off dancing. Can’t wait to share this journey with you! 

9-10am, set to the sounds of traditional rhythms and music from West Africa. 
October 4 – November 22
Click here to register, or just drop in.

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Drum & Dance with Seny Daffe & Namory Keita, Tuesday October 29

We love Seny Daffe!
Seny returns to Embody the Rhythm to teach a class that’s accessible to all levels, Tuesday Oct 29th, right after a special drum class with Namory Keita.
Classes at Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME

Drum Class with Namory 4:45-5:45pm, $15 cash or check at the door
BYO djembe, or email Namory to reserve one: info@namorydrum.com

Dance Class with Seny Daffe 6:00-7:30pm, $18 cash or check at the door
Come dance with this fabulously talented and fun teacher. 

 

Moments from New Moon Ensemble’s
August & September shows

Thanks again to all who came out to support us. If you have photos to share, we’d love to see them!

Save the Date! Jeh Kulu’s Annual West African Dance & Drum Festival in Burlington, VT   November 1-3

Dance & drum students are highly encouraged to experience this fabulous festival of classes in the beautiful town of Burlington. Master teachers including Moustapha Bangoura, Ismael Bonfils Kouyate and many more.. (This is where Seny Daffe calls home).

 

New Moon Ensemble shows & Guest Workshops coming right up

Together from 6 countries, 3 continents, 18 beating hearts, 1 planet: *NEW MOON ENSEMBLE*
plus SOME VERY SPECIAL GUESTS
SATURDAY AUGUST 24th at CONGRESS SQUARE!

New Moon Ensemble

Don’t miss this special event!
Guinea Style West African Dance & Drumming

*New Moon Ensemble* with guest artists Sayon Camara, Seny Daffe and Theo Martey
August 24th at Congress Square Park! 6:30-8pm

 

Sayon Camara

Theo Martey

 

Seny Daffe

 

Whether experiencing Sayon as a teacher or performer in classes, workshops, or celebrations, Sayon will take you places in drumming and traditional Guinean music that you didn’t know were possible and will do so with contagious joy.


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Theo is a Songwriter, Recording Artist, Producer, Performer and Teacher. He has taught and performed African drumming, dancing and music in Ghana and internationally. 

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Seny is a versatile musician and plays the djembe, krin, bolon, gogo ma, sangban, balafone, and doundouns. He is also a very talented singer and comedian, and is considered one of the world’s finest doundoun players. SPECIAL GUEST CLASSES WITH SENY, AUGUST 22 in Kittery & 23 in Portland. SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS.

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Meet New Moon Ensemble Dancers:

Anne Esguerra

Alison Green-Parsons

Ann Brandt

 

 

 

Ashley Edmondson

Megu Hirayama

 

 

Aminata Doumbouya

Grace Kapinga

 

 

 

Danielle Dellaquila

 

 

 

 

 

Marita Kennedy-Castro ~ Artistic Director, Choreographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet New Moon Ensemble Drummers:

Namory Keita ~ Musical Director

Annegret Baier

Jeff Howe

John Marlowe

Janice Erickson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Moon Ensemble
Guinea Style West African Dance & Drumming 

Coming together from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, New Moon Ensemble members share a love for West African dance and drumming, the accompanying traditions and the gift of intercultural exchange. Together we build community and inspire international study and collaboration, through the healing power of music and dance.

Master village drummer and performer Namory Keita, from Sangbarela, Guinea and dancer/choreographer Marita Kennedy-Castro from Maine developed the 15 member troupe to help spread the love for traditional music and dances of Guinea, West Africa. The Ensemble includes multi-talented musician Annegret Baier, from Germany, as well as a handful of other skilled musicians and dancers from Marita & Namory’s weekly classes.

New Moon Ensemble’s performances offer the uplifting rhythms and dances into the world as prayers for peace and well-being for all.

SPECIAL DANCE CLASSES
with guest artist Seny Daffe!

THURSDAY August 22nd in Kittery (click here for details)
FRIDAY August 23rd in Portland:
WEST AFRICAN dance class with Seny Daffe

Accompanied by Master Drummer Namory Keita
6-7:30 pm at Portland New Church on 302 Stevens Ave – Portland ME
$16-20 sliding scale – Cash at the door

Seny is uplifting, a very clear teaching style and so much fun!
All levels welcome!

 

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday September 7th
New Moon Ensemble performs at
HENRY FEST, in YARMOUTH, ME
Seny Daffe will join us, for another fabulous show!

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RECENT WORKSHOPS:
(If you missed the workshop, join weekly classes with Namory by clicking HERE)

Saturday July 27th ~ ADVANCED DRUM WORKSHOP
with NAMORY KEITA

Saturday July 27th
1 – 4:30 PM
$60 online /$70 at the door
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME
*For Intermediate/Advanced players*
Bring your Djembé or Dounoun playing to another level!
Visit Namorydrum.com for more info or to register

Growing, Dancing, Drumming, Changing

SENY DAFFE RETURNS TO PORTLAND, ME (and beyond) IN MAY!

Guest artist Seny Daffe, alongside Namory Keita and our talented drummers rocked the house in Portland & Kittery last month!

Here’s some of the fun we had singing and dundun dancing with Seny, April 25:


Seny & Namory have a mini-tour together in Maine and New Hampshire, MAY 27th – MAY 31st ~
 Catch them for drum, dance, or dundun dance in Bristol, NH or Portland, Kittery, or Camden, ME!

Seny&Namory


Monday MAY 27 ~ INT/ADV DRUM CLASS with Namory Keita

Wild Root Kombuchery, 135 Washington Ave, Portland, ME | 6:15-7:15pm |
$15/class or $13 per class for punch card of 4
Find and share on facebook HERE

Tuesday MAY 28 ~ SPECIAL DANCE CLASS with Seny Daffe at Embody the Rhythm! 
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME | 6:00-7:30pm |
$16-20 sliding scale – cash only please
Show support and share on facebook HERE

LINK for CLASS DETAILS  May 29 – May 31
Wednesday MAY 29, Bristol, NH
Thursday MAY 30, Kittery, ME
Friday MAY 31, Camden, ME

THIS JUST IN: Beautiful djembefola (master drummer) Sayon Camara will be visiting Maine next week, and be our special guest drummer in Tuesday Dance Class, May 21st!

sayon-camara-13-wp-r-sdi-ac-web

Come dance to the beautiful rhythm, Kassa, May 21! Drumming led by Namory Keita and Sayon Camara

 

 


*IMPORTANT* ~ CHANGES/NOTICES
at EMBODY THE RHYTHM:

 

  • Dance Class TIME CHANGE: Tuesdays JUNE – AUGUST
    7:00 -8:30pm* | Catch an extra hour of sunshine before coming to dance it out to live drumming!!
    *If you’ve purchased a 4 or 8 class card and won’t be able to attend during this time change, please talk with Marita or Anne in class, or email me (Marita)*
  • SEEKING OUTDOOR LOCATION for Dance
    I’m seeking a flat, open, (non-concrete) available space outside, to hold dance class on some Tuesdays this summer. Have ideas? Please email me.
    If a Portland location is found, will be posted as *special notice* at top of homepage here, by midday of class. If rain is expected or nothing posted, you’ll find us @ Portland New Church.
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  • Our DANCE Class SUPPORTS SOCIAL CHANGE INITIATIVES
    A percentage of proceeds from every class is contributed to important social change initiatives. Please learn about the ones we support in 2019: VISIT THIS PAGE.
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  • SUMMER PERFORMANCES ~ SAVE THE DATES
    New Moon Ensemble 
    performs:

    Saturday August 24th ~ Free evening show at Congress Square Park, Portland, ME
    Saturday September 7th ~ at Henry Fest (Folk Music Festival), Falmouth, ME

 

HELP BUILD a LIBRARY for these children in KOUYA SIDIA, GUINEA, WEST AFRICA

Children.KouyaSidia

 

Our newest dance class drummer, John Marlowe, has created THIS FUNDRAISER to help build a library in the home village of our wonderful teacher, Sayon Camara. 

Please check out this awesome project, and share it with the librarians, book lovers, children and community change-makers in your life!

 

Flowers are blooming, the weather is warming, the air is fresh, the birds are singing…  SO many reasons to dance. See you on the dance floor! 

 

 

Spring is Popping & so are Our Classes!

Weekly Dance & Drum Class Details, CLICK HERE

Special Guest Teacher SENY DAFFE Returns to Maine!
COME DANCE ~ Tuesday, April 23

SenyDaffe.Dunun.jpg

Join us in welcoming back master artist Seny Daffe
to Embody the Rhythm, Tuesday April 23

6:00-7:30pm

Dance Class with Seny: $16-20 sliding scale – cash at the door
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave
All levels welcome

Special Guest artist Seny Daffe, from Guinea, West Africa has a warm personality and a fun, lively dance style. We’re excited to welcome him back as our guest teacher to our Tuesday night dance class, April 23rd. Join this special opportunity!

More about Seny Daffe: http://senydaffe.blogspot.com/

Class accompanied by live drumming with master drummer, Namory Keita and friends. See you soon!

AND on Thursday April 25,
Drum with Namory Kieta & Dundun Dance with Seny Daffe

in Kittery, Maine
CLICK HERE FOR KITTERY CLASS DETAILS

Team.Seny.Namory

Next 3 Week Session of Drum Classes with Annegret Baier starts April 24

Annegret

Wednesdays 4/24, 5/1 + 5/8
6-7:30pm
Portland Friends Meeting House, 1837 Forest Ave, Portland
 Register today by contacting Annegret HERE
$70 for 3 Classes  – Djembes available for rent

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HAPPY SPRING!
PLANTS LOVE SOCIAL CHANGE

A percentage of our Tuesday Dance Classes is contributed to some fantastic social change initiatives. In April, donate an extra $10 or more in class, and you can take home a free jade plant!
IMG_3578.jpg

LINK HERE For our Weekly Dance & Drum Classes at Embody the Rhythm

Join this ever-growing community! All are welcome.


 

Spread Love, Be Love.

Happy February, folks ~ So many great things to share with you this month! We’re welcoming Namory Keita back to his Maine community and he’s bringing the heat to dance and drum classes, fresh from Guinea! 


DRUM CLASSES WITH NAMORY RESUME, MONDAY NIGHTS IN PORTLAND

 

Namory Keita

Drum with Namory Keita

FIT MAINE RECENTLY FEATURED OUR TUESDAY NIGHT DANCE CLASS:
Check out the story by Shannon Bryan, catch the warm vibes and join us in class this month. We’re dancing the Malinké rhythm Soko, Tuesday nights in February.


ShannonBryan.photo.jpg
Photo by Shannon Bryan

FRIDAY MORNING DANCE class has been hopping & the next 8-Week session starts March 15 Grab the Early Bird Discount before Feb 28thYou can also register with check or cash at class to save the online fee. Invite friends in the Facebook Event.

 

SATURDAY MORNING CHILDREN & FAMILY series is the sweetest:
3 more Saturdays, 10:30-11:45am, 302 Steven’s Ave. 
3-5yr olds with a parent/guardian ~ dance, rhythm, song, play.

 

MORE FANTASTIC AFRICAN DANCE OPPORTUNITIES, HERE IN PORTLAND, MAINE!


Rwandan Dance with Ikirenga cy’Intore 
Fridays at YMCA, 6-8pm. 
Facebook Link

Ikirenga cy'Intore.jpg

 

Afrobeat Dance (contemporary African fusion) with Veeva Banga

Mondays at Hustle & Flow, 7-8pm
Thursdays at Bright Star World Dance, 8-9pm
VeevaBanga.jpg
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Congolese Dance with Grace & Jenny, of Coco Maine 
Saturdays Feb 23 | Mar 9 | Mar 23 |  3pm at Mayo St. Arts

 

 

INTERNATIONAL OPEN MIC ~ Have you been yet??
It only happens every few months, and is always an amazing event and great way to see some of Portland’s international talent, onstage. Next one: Friday, March 1st, 
Mayo St. Arts, 7-9pm.
 
 
It’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH and there’s still so much work to be done to end racism. Embody the Rhythm engages Movement as Medicine for Social Change by supporting these important initiatives with a percentage of proceeds from dance classes:  Please check them out
 
Keep an eye out for upcoming discussions on ways to deepen our awareness and take action together as a community. Meanwhile, join me at one of these events: 
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Check out:
SO many reasons to get together and dance/drum/shake.
Can’t wait to see you on the dance floor!

Movement Medicine and Social Change

movement medicine social change

There is a Need for Healing.  
All people, all genders, all ages, ethnicities, creeds…
We all need the healing medicine of movement.
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We need spaces in which we become so present in the experience of our body’s movement that we forget our heartache, forget our struggles, and remember our Selves. Even for a moment. Even for an hour.
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We need community.
We need safe spaces in which we can collectively align in movement, share in rhythm, and breathe in the company of others … to shed the heaviness, despair, anger, fear,
even if for the moment …

So that the lightness of our being, suspended in air, in rhythm, in movement, can return us to the presence of our own spirit, can grow our resilience, grow our strength, rekindle our fire and most importantly, inspire the actions we take to change the systems that are not working for the good of all. 
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Let’s cultivate the healing energy we generate on the dance floor to go beyond ourselves and take outward into the world. Let’s find more ways to take action together to create the changes needed for all people to be safe, for all people to be free, for all people to thrive.

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As a small step toward collectively channelling the healing medicine of movement directly toward social change  $1 from each student in our Tuesday dance classes in 2019 will be donated to these important initiatives
here in Maine and in Guinea:

For Us By Us (a fund for POC, by POC) in Maine. Learn more here:
https://www.patreon.com/forusbyus/posts 
Black Girl in Maine (BGIM media) – education, awareness, participation: 
https://blackgirlinmaine.com/
Hamana Arts Center (school for traditional cultural arts) in Guinea, West Africa:
https://www.gofundme.com/hamana-arts-center-project
Youssouf Koumbassa’s School for traditional cultural arts in Guinea, West Africa.
(link coming) 

Check out the important work of each organization and consider donating directly, by visiting the links provided above.

dance class 3

Movement, Music & Community

 

While we are dancing through precarious and trying times,
we also have new beginnings to celebrate.
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Let’s continue to come together, build community, hold each other up and knit our neighborhoods together, celebrate one another and create space for the light to grow within each individual.
Let’s reach beyond preconceived boundaries and learn from one another.
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Come dance.

Tuesdays, Fridays and some Saturdays! (link here FMI)

Nobody turned away for lack of funds. Barters and discounts available.
All bodies, all genders welcome.

See you on the dance floor! Welcome 2019!

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