Posts Tagged ‘Women Djembe Drummers’
About a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to teach a Youth Tribe Choreography/Performance class. I knew I was onto something, because my Youth Tribe Training class has some really inspirational dancers in it, and I really wanted the chance to work with them and other, more serious dancers on a deeper level. The Youth Tribe is like a mini-Sol Vida Dance Ensemble as evidenced by Fridays class at 5:30. So far, we only have two students, but these two managed to work in a delightfully, incredible way. We began with a Reggae music warm up, and proceeded to explore the world of Contact Improvisation, we worked with the concept of creating choreography without music–accapella style. Wow! After creating the choreography, I had the girls try it to three different styles of music–dubstep, electronica dance, and African drumming. Ironically enough, the piece which has the ability to go with almost anything, really came out when they did it with Fatu, Lady Drummer‘s African drumming, it was the essence of Fusion dance, as I love it. They played with speed, and worked on creating their own changes to make the choreography fluid–and they did an amazing job, and left class saying “that was so awesome,” making me believe that I may have landed upon one of my dream youth classes of all time.
Just before I left college Katherine Dunham came to Cleveland to do some master classes and she brought a drummer with her. The drummer’s name was Mor Thaim and he was playing a djembe drum. I had never heard or seen a drum like that before. The sound of the drum made my head swim. During the 60’s I was the only African American in my college dance class and had never seen live African dance. However, when I danced to the sound of the djembe it was as if I had finally found my true self. Just before Ms. Dunham left, she called me to her and whispered in my ear the following words. These are the sounds and movements of your ancestors. I was never the same again.
The “Grandmothers of the Drum” series continues with a biography of Linda Thomas Jones, conga player, Orisha Musician, and writer of children’s music and books. Look for posts Wednesday July 21, 2010. See you then. In the mean time, check out the Drum Woman, Linda Thomas Jones and her work with autistic children!
[vsw id= iVkHnHQGHzc&hl=en_US&fs=1 source="youtube" width="416" height="344" autoplay="no"]
Songs for Yemaya are some of the sweetest and melodic in the pantheon of Orisha music. Enjoy this wonderful selection![vsw id="Q1Abm9K8Htk&hl=en " source="youtube" width="416" height="344" autoplay="no"]
[vsw id="KfcqwM9CmFQ&hl=en_US&fs=1& " source="youtube" width="416" height="344" autoplay="no"]
I know that that there is a level of drumming to which master drummers aspire. That deep inner level of drumming that can heal or kill with a touch. Few will talk about it. One of mine slipped once and spoke of the energy that travels through the head into the bowels and opens the third eye so one can see the lines that run the body. The Spirit of Music mounts the Horse, takes over the hands and drums one’s body. Broken meridians are rebuilt, tone by tone, slap by slap. Healing occurs. They covet the knowledge that heals. They covet What Edwina Tyler does naturally; by default. “Drumming in Jesus”, she calls it; that tapping of the womb’s secrets that allows the medicine to pass and manifest.