May the Sunshine Pour from our Pores

*FROM GUINEA TO MAINE*
4 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS WITH SPECIAL GUESTS!

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Room Island, Guinea

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Hamana region, Guinea

Home

With our friend, Namory Keita, and his son.

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The beautiful location where Namory has begun building Hamana Art Center.

2018 began for me amidst the beauty of Guinea, West Africa, with dear friends old and new, to study at the home of my long-time teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa:

 

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Grand Master Dancer and Teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa

 

It has taken me a Moon or more to settle back into Maine’s long winter, and tonight as I reminisce these sunny photos, we prepare for another big snow storm. 

 



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This beauty, dear friend and long time student Steph Harmon, came along for the month-long dance and drum immersion studies.

We invite our community to join us for a sharing of stories & slideshows from our trip: SUNDAY, MARCH 18
7pm, Hustle & Flow Studio, 155 Brackett St., 3rd floor, Portland.

I will continue to share Guinea stories here too, bit by bit.
There is so much!

*FROM GUINEA TO MAINE*
UPCOMING DANCE & DRUM WORKSHOPS
WITH VERY SPECIAL GUESTS!

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Bolokada Conde

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Seny Daffe

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 29
All Levels Drum Class with
Grandmaster djembefola,
BOLOKADA CONDE

The Dance Hall, 7 Walker St., Kittery, Maine
5:30-6:45pm, $20
Bolokada will lead the drum accompaniment for Liz Fowler’s dance class, directly to follow.

TUESDAY, APRIL 3
All Levels Drum Class with
Master Village Drummer,
NAMORY KEITA
The Portland New Church, 302 Steven’s Ave. Portland, ME
5:00-6:00pm, $15
Contact Marita to reserve a drum. 

TUESDAY, APRIL 3
*Dundun Dance* Class with
Master Drummer & Singer, SENY DAFFE
The Portland New Church, 302 Steven’s Ave. Portland, ME
6:15-7:45pm, $18

*Space is limited. ALL DUNDUNS HAVE NOW BEEN RESERVED, which means we’re at capacity, but we do have a WAITLIST. You may join the waitlist by contacting Marita.

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Namory Keita

SUNDAY, APRIL 15th
Special *Advanced* Drumming Workshop with
NAMORY KEITA

1:00-3:00pm, $25
Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave.
One-Time Event. Register HERE 

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Guinea Story #1
FIRST AID, FROM NEW ENGLAND TO GUINEA

 

Guinea, West Africa is rich in culture, contributing incredible music and dance to the rest of the world, the roots of which are seen in many popular contemporary art forms worldwide. As you might have noticed, as a follower of West African dance & drumming, Guinea has *incredible* talent. 

Meanwhile, the reality remains that the average person in Guinea has only the very basics for survival. While colonizing countries have established businesses there, and imported all manner of packaged items, there is no place to deal with trash and plastic waste, no sanitation system, no running water, and scant/rationed electricity for the non-elite. The average person has no access to basic health care or even first aid such as antiseptic, bandages, fever-fighting medicines and pain reducers, no simple life-saving conveniences such as bug spray (while malaria, and other mosquito born illnesses are rampant). My friends and fellow artists whom I became close with are not even guaranteed to have food to eat each day, nor a bed to sleep in. 

On my recent journey to the country, I was able to bring along a suitcase full of traditional first aid items and lovingly prepared herbal medicines, coming from many of you in our local community. I cannot tell you how incredibly far this went. A special shout out to wise herbalists, Angel Putney Noe and Isa Beaulieu for your beautiful healing remedies ~ the herbal medicines were most deeply appreciated. 

An amazing group of friends and community members in Guinea volunteered to help with separating all of the donations into smaller units, which we then distributed home by home, around numerous villages. Local volunteers came along to ensure that proper use of the medicines was translated into the local languages. It was a most beautiful effort, linking together communities that I love and cherish from both sides of the ocean. Thank you to all who donated, and to all who helped.

As I would hear people say every day in Guinea, “Wontanara” (We are together / We are one). Let’s find more ways to give back, to share the wealth, and to honor this truth of our common humanity with care and action. 

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