Welcoming back Youssouf Koumbassa

Happy Autumn!
(CLICK HERE FOR OUR WEEKLY DANCE & DRUM CLASS INFO)

West African Dance Class Youssouf 2017 final

TUESDAY OCTOBER 24
World renowned master teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa returns to Maine.


Master village drummer, Namory Keita will begin the night with Drum Class, and lead the smoking drum accompaniment for dance class.

ALL LEVELS WELCOME. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.



YOUSSOUF KOUMBASSA 
Perhaps the world’s most sought-after teacher of Guinea-style African dance, Youssouf was born in Conakry, Guinea. He was a principle dancer with Ballets Djoliba, one of Guinea’s most important national dance companies, for 13 years, training and touring extensively throughout the world. With his prodigious skill and thrilling talent, as well as the precious pedagogy and choreography of his teachers before him, Youssouf relocated to the United States to share his passion and his legacy with dancers and audiences everywhere.

NAMORY KEITA
Namory Keita, Master Drummer, is a sought after teacher and performer with a unique style and a wealth of traditional knowledge very rare to find outside the villages of Guinea. His resources include not only his wonderful ability to engage any audience but also his relationships with dancers and drummers locally, and around the world.

Tuesday October 24, 2017
Woodford’s Club, 179 Woodford St, Portland, ME
5:15-6:15pm –
DRUM CLASS with Namory Keita 
6:30-8pm –
DANCE CLASS with Youssouf Koumbassa

Preregistration Price*: $17/class or $32 for both classes
Preregistration is closed, but you can still pay at the door ~
See you tonight!

$20/class or $34 for both classes (Discounts offered for New Mainers/low-income. Inquire at the door)

 

 

HOW TO PREPARE:
`No prior experience is needed. 
`Bring an open mind, and an interest to learn.
`Wear comfortable clothing that you can move and sweat in.
`Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated.
`Dancing is with bare feet (dance shoes but not street shoes) are okay, if needed.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES to Dance with Youssouf in Maine:

Thursday October 26th, at Kittery Dance Hall
Kittery, ME

Friday October 27th at High Mountain Hall
Camden, ME

 

Embody the Rhythm had a busy summer, so there’s more good news to come, including exciting developments and opportunities for dancers coming up in early 2018.
Follow this newsletter to keep up to date.


See you on the dance floor.

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Celebrating Cultures

Come dance or drum with us!
Check HERE for weekly class info

Now more than ever we need to engage our communities with creative visions of cross-cultural collaboration, build opportunity for more intercultural exchange and togetherness, and create supportive and celebratory environments for the expression of traditions that come from afar. 

Join the ensembles of Many Waters (June 25) and New Moon (July 13) in celebrating cultures, building community, and raising up some positive energy for the healing that is much needed in the world:

 

13709915_10153553905307163_1648242248180838027_nNEW MOON ENSEMBLE

Presents:
Tides ~ Les Marées ~ 
A Celebratory Performance of West African Dance and Drumming

Thursday July 13th, 7:00-8:30pm
Mayo St. Arts
in Portland.

New Moon Ensemble’s performances offer intoxicating rhythms and energetic dances into the world as prayers for peace and well-being for all. Join us for this special evening!

Learn more about New Moon Ensemble
Reserve your spot. Purchase TICKETS

Share/Follow on Facebook

 

 

 

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ManyWaters3 MANY WATERS ENSEMBLE


Representing an exciting new intercultural arts exchange, our initial formation brings together devoted dance artists from 4 different countries of origin.

Like the streams and rivers of the Earth we all call home, when we flow together we create something bigger than ourselves. Many Waters creates inspirational fusions drawing from present day culture as well as deep cultural traditions brought together by the artists involved. 

Many Waters will be sharing our very first dance collaboration in the Theatre Ensemble of Color’s community arts showcase on Sunday June 25th, 12-2pm at Mayo St. Arts in Portland. We hope you’ll come see and support our work, and learn more about this exciting collaboration and exchange. Donations graciously accepted.

 

 

 

 

~ Meanwhile, come dance or drum with us ~
Check HERE for weekly class info
See you on the dance floor!

 

 

 

 

 

Start with your heart. beat.

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Community Celebrates after a New Moon Ensemble performance. Photo credit to Sage Heyes

 

On Friday, April 14th, Embody the Rhythm will have our first Dance & Drum Community Potluck. Bringing together our ever-expanding dance & drum community to share food and stories, in a casual setting.
We hope you can join us!  6-9pm in the community space at Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave. (Same location as dance class). 

WHAT TO BRING:

~A potluck dish to share

~Any extra paper plates, bowls, cups and plastic (or compostable!) dinnerware you have kicking around, to contribute

~ Donation ($1-3) to help cover the rental. *Any additional donations from the evening will go toward supporting the construction of the Hamana Arts Center, in Guinea, West Africa*: https://www.gofundme.com/hamana-arts-center-project

RSVP for Potluck by visiting the event: on Facebook

This week we will celebration the Malinke dance, Kassa (intermediate steps from this dance can be seen in the video above) once more, before switching to a new dance for the rest of April… quite possibly Soboninkun!


In Other Embody the Rhythm News:

  • Want to be our Social Media Rockstar? Seeking technical support for such things as website help, facebook posts, and other media savvy assistance. Got skills? Want to exchange for free classes? Get in touch with Marita.
  • New Moon Ensemble is entering a new phase. We’ve added some new members to the crew, and still seeking a few more dancers! If you have a depth of experience in West African Dance (or even just dance/choreography, plus the stamina and drive to learn quickly, and deepen your relationship with this form) consider getting in touch with Marita. 
  • Dance Class Time Change ~ Starting in May, 2017 Dance Class start time shifts to 6pm. Class will be 6-7:30pm.  If you are looking for drum classes, you have choices of Mondays or Wednesdays. Click HERE for more info on dance & drum classes.

 

Come dance with us! If you think you, “don’t have rhythm”, remember that every atom in your body vibrates with rhythm.
It starts with your heart. Feel that beat. Let it move you.
May we all move from our hearts! 

 

Community, Culture & Connection

NOTICE: Drum Classes and workshops on Monday & Wednesday nights. Link here FMI. 

Have you heard? Our friend, local master Guinea drummer, Namory Keita is developing his dream project ~ The Hamana Arts Center ~ in Guinea, West Africa, and he needs our help to build it.

The Hamana Arts Center will be a school where masters and students from around the world come together to exchange, teach, perform and study the traditional arts of the Hamana region. 

NamoryBreakingGround.Hamana

Namory, breaking ground at the Hamana Arts Center.

For all of us who enjoy the study of West African arts, helping to fund this project is a wonderful way to show our gratitude and support.

Together we can help ensure that young artists in Guinea can continue to learn their traditions, and carry them on for generations to come. Click here to link to Namory’s GoFundMe account, and help the Hamana Arts Center get off the ground. Donate, spread the word, and help support a vibrant future for Guinea! 

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This Saturday, March 11th New Moon Ensemble will be performing in this righteous event:
Rise! Release! Dance! ~ A Dance & Poetry Showcase
benefiting the Maine Sex-Trafficking and Exploitation Network’s Survivor Support Fund. First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., Portland, ME – 7pm.
We hope to see you there!

Rise.Release.Dance.

Join us this month in weekly West African Inspired Dance & Drum Classes ~ Every Tuesday!
Click the link above, FMI | Find us on
facebook
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AND… SAVE THE DATE: 
Dance & Drum Community Potluck ~ Friday April 14th, 2017
Come share some food, meet friends and build community outside of class time.

Movement is Medicine

A movement for social change, and a syncopated step/jump/spin on the dance floor; intersectional movement building, and a communal arm raise to the heavens and back to Mother Earth. . . We need the medicine of movement.
We need each other.

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Move, rise, love, and lift up those who need it most.

This month we’ll be practicing the  rhythm/dance, Yoki/Guinea Faré.
Guinea Faré translates as “women dance”, from 
the Susu people of Guinea, West Africa. It is traditionally danced the day before weddings, accompanied by the balafon – a type of xylophone made of wood, with gourds resonating the sound.

In honor of my beloved teacher Youssouf Koumbassa, and the blessing he gave me to teach these dances, it is a joy to share my passion for Guinea dance and music with our community. Join me this month, and let’s dance for healing ~ May the good energy we generate on the dance floor resonate out for the good of all. 

SPECIAL NOTICE:
Time and Location change for one-class-only ~ Tuesday February 21st
We will bring our regular Tuesday class with live drumming to:
Equilibrium Studio in the Pepperell Mill, 40 Main St., Biddeford, ME
Class will be 6:15-7:30pm.
Regular dance passes and drop-in fees will apply.

Otherwise, classes continue as usual (Feb 14th, 28th and beyond) at the community space in Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave. 5:45-7:15pm.
Visit this LINK for more info

REQUEST & BARTER PROPOSAL:
Embody the Rhythm is seeking someone with experience to exchange tech and web based media support for dance classes. Please contact Marita if interested. 

See you on the dance floor!

May we dance through the darkness

May we dance through the darkness and back again through light. The cyclical seasons reminding us, we are rhythm. Life is rhythm.

May we all know our part in contributing to the swift creation of a safe, and more just and more open minded society
for ALL people to thrive. 

all-are-welcome-here-1

Beautiful print by Mel Shapiro, via Pickwick Independent Press.

Weekly Tuesday classes continue through 2016, and right on into the New Year.
Sweat it out. Bring a friend.
Dance for sanity. Dance for peace.
Dance your prayers.
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REQUEST & BARTER PROPOSAL:
Embody the Rhythm is seeking someone with experience to exchange tech and web based media support for dance classes. Please inquire if interested.

EMBODY THE RHYTHM TEACHERS & NEW MOON ENSEMBLE:

Marita Kennedy-Castro
Namory Keita 
Annegret Baier

New Moon Ensemble

 

Dance from your heart & your feet will follow.

*NOTICE: No Dance or Drum Class AUGUST 30th*
 – Find weekly drum & dance class info HERE –

13709915_10153553905307163_1648242248180838027_n

Marita Kennedy-Castro & Namory Keita singing at Congress Square Park, July 15th, 2016. Photo by Sullivan Photography

Thanks to all who joined Namory and I, and New Moon Ensemble on July 15th!
It is essential that we create occasions for inter-cultural celebration, recognizing and celebrating the gift of sharing and learning from one another across cultures.
It is my great pleasure to be able to collectively bring healing vibes to our community, through music and dance.

May we all use our creative fire, as Alana Fairchild so eloquently puts it,  
“to burn new ideas of love, healing and transcendent hope onto the world stage.” 

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Marita Kennedy-Castro.  Photo by Tony Castro

WHATS NEW:
In a large nutshell, Embody the Rhythm is undergoing a renovation.

 This work is expanding in ways that I’m really excited about and proud of, and some of these changes will bring new experiences to our community.
Recently I’ve begun…
  • Leading modern community rituals, baby blessing ceremonies and healing rituals with dance and drumming. Contact me if interested.
  • Volunteer teaching dance and drumming at Longcreek Youth Detention Center, alongside inspiring leader Anne Esguerra (yoga therapy), and through the incredible program Maine Inside Out.
  • Developing some of our collaborative classes for women at the Maine Correctional Center.
  • Offering individualized private and small group movement lessons, to help folks get “unstuck”, work through inhibitions and find their freedom of movement. Contact me if interested.
  • Developing a women’s empowerment retreat along with Anne at Horizon Line , and Clara at Prevention.Action.Change. Think, embodiment yoga therapy, self-love-based dance and movement, empowerment self defense… Stay tuned!
  • Designing a very exciting new program to facilitate intercultural music and dance collaborations in local high schools, based on my college thesis project, Bakunda (We Love). This program is in seed form, and all supportive connections are welcome!
  • Setting up a 5 day tour of teaching work for my biggest influence and beloved teacher in West African Dance, Youssouf Koumbassa, to bring him back to Maine (!!!) 

SAVE THE DATE ~ Classes with Youssouf Koumbassa Sep 24th in Portland & Sep 25th in Kittery, ME.

 

Youssouf Koumbassa performing in Portland, ME in May 2015.

YoussoufKoumbassa1

Youssouf Koumbassa teaches dance in Guinea, Conakry, At Bagatai.

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BIG NEWS for dance students – CLASS TIME/LOCATION CHANGES THIS FALL:

 

This fall we’ll be consolidating the two dance classes into ONE, WONDERFUL, ALL-LEVELS, DANCE CLASS, for true-blue beginners alongside advanced students. The new dance class will be 1.5 hrs on Tuesday evenings, likely to begin at 5:45pm, followed by drum class with Namory Keita.
This is a very exciting opportunity to bring the whole community together as one supportive community.  
Location and date change will be announced just as soon as confirmed. Likely to begin in October. Going to be great! Both classes continue as usual until then.
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New Moon Ensemble performance photos from July 15th show at Congress Square Park.

Peace. Love. Unity.
See you on the dance floor!
*Notice: No Dance Class AUG 30th*

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