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Dance and Drums of Africa and the Diaspora

Offerings Education Main 14
  • Culture | Africa
  • Format | Workshop, School Assembly, Cultural Field Trip, After School Program, Community Event
  • Discipline | Music, Dance
  • Level | All Ages, Pre-K to Grade 2, Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

Dancers and musicians guide students through a variety of African dance and music, highlighting the connections between Africa’s traditional cultures and these art forms. In workshops, students learn and perform African dances as they respond to the call of the drum.

Artists

Jerbean Gilkes

Jerbean Gilkes is a dance teacher and choreographer based in New York City. Jerbean has been a member of Symphony Space’s Global Arts program since 1989, as a part of the African dance curriculum. He specializes in year-long residencies at public schools primarily in Brooklyn. Jerbean is a former member of Barbados Dance Theatre Company and the Gallman’s Newark Dance Company and has worked with the Carribean Dance Company in St. Croix. Jerbean has taught in New York City public schools as well as local colleges. He has been a member of the Charles Moore Dance Theatre since 1986.

Sanga of the Valley

Sanga of the Valley is a Trinidadian master percussionist who has been a part of Symphony Space’s Global Arts programs since 1989 - taking part in the Africa and Latin America curriculums. Sanga specializes in djembe drumming and has taught in classrooms, workshop settings, assemblies, and after-school programs in public schools all over New York City. Sanga has studied with some of the world’s greatest drummers from West Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the United States, including Babatunde Olatunji. He has performed throughout the world with artists such as Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, and Gabriella Roth.

Charles Moore Dance Theatre

Charles Moore Dance Theatre was founded in 1974 by the late Charles Moore with artistic director Ella Moore. The company creates and reconstructs dances, most notably “Shango,” the signature dance of world-renowned choreographer Katherine Dunham. The company’s African, Carribean, and African-American dance and drumming programs have been seen on the stages of Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and in Central Park, and its work has been broadcast on the PBS series, Great Performances. Ms. Moore holds a B.A. in Arts and Education from Howard University.

Women of the Calabash

Women of the Calabash, founded in 1978, combines traditional instruments, vocals, and music forms with contemporary influences to perform music from Africa, the Caribbean, and black America. Under artistic director Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, Women of the Calabash uses moments during workshops and performances to teach the history and playing techniques of the various instruments used, giving context to the music they perform. Women of the Calabash shared billing with performers such as the Temptations, Richie Havens, Philip Glass, Odetta, and more.

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