A New Dance & Nearly a New Moon~

Sending out a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who came out last month and helped to make Ebuné ~ All Peoples, All Creatures Parade & Spring Celebration such a roaring success and good time. It was a beautiful day from start to finish and each individual who took part contributed to that outcome. 

What an amazing community!

The All Peoples & Creatures parade makes it's way down Congress St. May 5th, 2013

The All Peoples, All Creatures parade makes it’s way down Congress St. May 5th, 2013. Photo by Modibo Some

The parade made it’s way, with vibrant musical accompaniment, through downtown Portland and on up to the Eastern Prom.

Dance and music performances followed a community ritual blessing, welcoming back and giving thanks for the abundance of Spring. 

Members of the Dark Follies started off the performances, delighting us all with their fluidity and grace:

Bella Lisa makes sword balancing appear effortless. Photo by Jessica Townsend


Lovely Kate is dancing for two! Photo by Cami Smalley

Next, the Blue Moon Tribe, consisting of a revolving group of committed drummers and dance students from our weekly dance class, lead by (yours truly) Marita Kennedy-Castro  brought a healing dance from Guinea, West Africa to share with all peoples, species and creatures:


Blue Moon Tribe dancers and drummers in the flow. Photo by Cami Smalley

Blue Moon Tribe dancers giving it up! Photo by Cami Smalley

Dancers of the Blue Moon Tribe giving it up! Photo by Cami Smalley

Finally, the incredibly talented Rwandan dance group, Abeza B’inganzo, also from Portland, ME brought a truly grande finale to the performances. Their power and energy radiated out into a very appreciative audience:


Abeza B’Inganzo! Photo by Jessica Townsend

The beautiful ladies of Abeza B'inganzo shining like stars. Photo by Jessica Townsend

The beautiful ladies of Abeza B’inganzo shining like stars. Photo by Jessica Townsend

Abeza B'inganzo bringing their infectious smiles and powerful rhythms. Photo by Jessica Townsend

Abeza B’inganzo bringing their infectious smiles and powerful rhythms. Photo by Jessica Townsend


There is always something amazing happening right outside our doorstep, and this weekend is no exception. This Sunday, June 9th I hope you all can join me in welcoming Dylan Blanchard’s new ensemble, Siembra to Portland!

They will be teaching a percussion workshop from 1:30-3pm and performing at 7pm at Mayo St. Arts.

Also, if you’re ready to incorporate more West African Drumming and Dancing to your life, there are so many opportunities to chose from this summer. Especially if you’re not afraid to jump in the car (or on a plane). I want to share a few of the fantastic camps and festivals happening in the United States for you to consider as you’re making summer plans ~

7th ANNUAL NDAJE FESTIVAL, June 27 – 30th, 2013 Boston, MA

A weekend of dance and drumming and dancing class with 20 of West Africa’s finest teachers.

Ndaje Festival

CAMP FARETA, July 7-13, 2013

Camp Fareta is a residential workshop hosted by Youssouf Koumbassa, a master dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Guinea, West Africa, and featuring many other master dancers and drummers from Guinea, Mali, and Senegal. It is an immersion in West African drum and dance that started in 2006 and is held at a beautiful setting in the southern Sierras of California each summer.

Mbemba Bangoura

The 11th ANNUAL CAMP MERVEILLES West African Drum & Dance Conference August 8-11, 2013

Camp Merveilles is a world-class conference that combines local West African artists with visiting faculty to bring the amazing spirit of West African drumming and dance to the Front Range. This is a unique opportunity for students of all
levels to experience the teaching of master dancers and musicians right in Boulder, CO.

Fara TolnoOpportunities abound. I cannot wait to dance with you all this evening! Thank you for your patience as I scurried to gather this information together and post this on the fly. Oh! This month we will be dancing Manjiani! For those of you who are unfamiliar, Manjiani (pronounced Mahn-JAH-nee) is a rhythm and dance from the Malinké people of Guinea and Mali, originally created as a rite of passage for young women. It is danced in present day Guinea, by both men and women at wedding celebrations and other festivities.

Have a beautiful month of June and enjoy this new moon!

Peace and blessings

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. seacoastwestafricandanceanddrum
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 01:34:52

    Another beautiful post, Marita! Thank you. For any folks interested in carpooling, I’ll be going to the Ndaje Festival on both Saturday and Sunday — Saturday just for Youssouf’s class and Sunday I’ll be staying to take Sangban (dundun) dance with Mangue Sylla.

    And regarding the camps, I’ll be at Camp Merveilles in August!! Hope to dance with you all again soon. ~Liz

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