AFRICAN DANCE "DUNDUN".
To the Yoruba people,located largely in the southwestern part of Nigeria
in Africa,"Dundun dance" is an important and versatile art form
that fully integrated into the culture .
Dance and drumming serve as preventive remedies, and they help people to
become more aware and balanceDance and drumming serve as preventive remedies,
and they help people to become more aware and balance
The Yoruba,by contrast,have a more positive and holistic attitude
towards the body.
The body is a site of culture,beauty art, expression,and spirituality.
"Rhythm is the soul of life.
The whole universe revolves in rhythm.Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.
Throughout human history, the beating of the drum has been used as a healing tool.
The ancients must have known that rhythm can heal! Each person's physical
and spiritual well being is dependent on synchronism within and between cells,
ergo rhythm. If the body loses its rhythm, something goes wrong with the mind.
If the mind has lost its rhythm, something goes wrong with the body."
Symbolically, the drum is the "voice" of the ancestors,
those who watch over the moral life of a community,
and proper drumming and dance are founded on a sense of
respect and gratitude to the ancestors for the continuity
of the community which uses music and dance to restructure and refocus
its integrity as a source of strength in the lives of its members.
& Drumming, a microcosm of African culture, a powerful art form, and
at the same time a communication vehicle.
Specific songs and rhythms match certain dance movements,
since they vary in tempo and the dance often relates to
what the song is about. To know African dance in depth
is to get insight into that culture.
If you are interested in hand drumming, learning an
instrument in an ensemble setting, or African dance,
we offer drumming and dance classes, all taught by master
drummers and dancers. Please see the course offerings below
and contact the appropriate representative to enroll or
request any special personal / group instruction.
Dance classes are usually 1.5 hours long,
with instruction by Dabi and live drum accompaniment provided by  of his group's experienced drummers. Classes begin
with approximately a 0,5 hour warm-up, followed by movements choreographed into a routine based on the particular rhythm taught.
When teaching the djembe (hand drum) and gangan (talking drum), classes also begin with a warm up followed by instruction in proper
technique and each of the parts for the rhythm taught.
Nigerian traditions have the masquerade, music, and dance as a continuation of creation and life. In the context of the masquerade, the mask has a deep cultural significance. It provides a visual representation of the invisible spirits, and the masquerade often becomes the manner in which divine or ancestral spirits intervene from behind the masks
The musician's role is to invoke the spirit to enter the masquerader,. after which the mask and dancer are considered scared and not to be desecrated. During the masquerade, the masked dancer is granted symbolic status and any comments that they make are believed to be coming from the particular ancestor or god that is now in possession of their body. In such ritual, the supernatural becomes an actual presence, ready to intervene in the affairs of the living. Alternatively the occasion may be used to subtly convey messages and criticisms to members of the community, which if delivered in a different context, would invoke anger and hostility
The musical instrument is crucial in reinforcing the idea that external forces are lurking. As a rule, instruments are made according to the tastes and habits of the musician. The tuning of these instruments is subject to the language patterns of the musician's mother tongue, as are the rhythms generated when they are played. The resonating space within the completed instrument is believed to give fullness to the ancestral voices, and it is the musician's performance on particular instruments that enables the ancestors to present themselves through the body of the dancers.
A dancer's body is thus considered an instrument that can be played by a skilled musician. The dancer, who is knowledgeable in the language of the music makes certain audible or physical responses to particular sounds and rhythms, thereby translating these sounds into a visual dialogue.