African Damce Party: Celebrating life, community and culture

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BRATTLEBORO >> African Dance Vermont presents a DJ dance party with African beats and performances by our local African dance teachers and drummers. It will take place on Friday Dec. 18 at 118 Elliot Street in Brattleboro from 8 to 11 p.m. Beverages will be offered for sale by Metropolis. It is a benefit to raise funds to support the family of Raoul Ombang (see story below). The suggested donation is $10 to $100.

Every Wednesday evening The Brattleboro Stone Church comes alive with African drumming and dance classes. Raoul Ombang, originally from Cameroon, is the drum teacher, accompanist for the dance classes and more recently has been teaching dance. Raoul has been drumming and dancing since a young age is now a very accomplished teacher and performer.

Raoul lost his younger brother, Songolo Tresor, a dancer and singer from Salapoumbe, Cameroon, who dedicated his life to learning and sharing the cultural traditions of his people. Last January he died at the age of 29 to what doctors say was malaria. The tradition in Cameroon is to have the funeral a year after the death to formally end the mourning. Songolo had been a member of the Singo Dance Troupe since 2006 along with Raoul. Singo was founded by their close friend, Georgette Adjie from Cameroon who also teaches African dance in Brattleboro. Raoul and Georgette are special members of the Brattleboro community, sharing with us their culture, rooted in ancient traditions.

Proceeds from the evening will go to raise funds for Raoul to send to his family for the expenses of his brother's funeral. At the same time it will be a celebration of Songolo's life and coming together to enjoy African music and dancing.

Elhadji Mamadou "Pape" Ba, from Senegal, also teaches dance regularly in Brattleboro and he will join Raoul, Georgette and friends in performing during a portion of the evening. It is sure to be a fantastic showcase of the talents of these artists that we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to study with.

The party will continue across the street at Metropolis until 2 a.m. It will be Brattleboro Reggae Night with guest DJ LionBird.

There is a GoFundme campaign for Raoul's family that you can contribute financially to: https://www.gofundme.com/Songolo

For more information see www.africandancevt.com, African Dance Vermont on Facebook or call 802-380-5152.


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