BRATTLEBORO -- The Interactive Arts Collective announces the eighth annual Abene African Dance and Drum Festival from Aug. 24-26 at the (air-conditioned) Stone Church, 210 Main St.
The festival features dance classes on Friday, Aug. 24, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; dance and drum classes on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by an African dinner from 6 to 8 p.m., and a gala performance at 8 p.m.; and dance and drum classes on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., followed by a African dinner from 5 to 7 p.m.
This year, there are three special guest teachers from Senegal invited by regular teacher Pape (Elhadji Mamadou) Ba -- Abdoulaye Thioub, Alioune "Pape" N’Diaye and Demba Sene.
Namory Keita will teach West African drumming on Saturday and Sunday. Keita is an accomplished Guinean drummer, who has performed and taught worldwide. He is skilled at teaching students with a wide range of levels and experience. He will bring extra djembe drums in case any students need them for the class. Visit www.namorykeita.com.
Pape Ba will start the festival on Friday, Aug. 24, by teaching a beautiful Senegalese dance called Kutiro. The dance classes will be accompanied by live drumming by Keita and Ibrahima Thioko Diagne, Baba Drame, Jason Graves, Nick Gangel and friends. Diagne has toured in Africa, Europe and the U.S., and with Les Ballet National Du Senegal. He
On Saturday evening there will be a gala performance featuring the festival dancers and drummers. African meals will be available prepared by Dieneba Macalou on Saturday and Sunday evenings and African-related wares will be for sale throughout the festival.
The festival in Brattleboro was started to showcase Senegalese master dancer Cara Diallo, who came to the area to teach each year for six years until 2010. Diallo is not able to come this year but hopes to come next year.
For a full schedule and fees, visit www.africandancevt.com. Advance tickets will be available through the web site. See also African Dance Vermont on Facebook, e-mail africandancevt @gmail.com or call 802-258-6475 for more information.