Sunday, June 23, 2013

African dance in Appalachia.

This weekend I went down to the festival celebrating African culture. It was warm but not unpleasant, and the energy of festivals downtown is always fun.
 Sometimes, I envy the kids playing in the fountains. I'm always tempted to run in there with them.
 This day of the festival included a parade with a drumline, dancers and stiltwalkers.
The kids, from first grade through high school, have been attending a camp to learn African drumming and dancing. The cutest are the little bitty girls. I stayed long enough to watch each age group before heading back home.

32 comments:

  1. This looks and sounds wonderful and it looks to have been a good crowd. Thanks for sharing it here.

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    1. It was quite a crowd - I had a hard time geting close enough to grab a little video.

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  2. i have a friend who is an african drummer. i so enjoy this sort of thing. glad you got to enjoy it all on a lovely afternoon as well.

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    1. Me, too - it just makes me happy to be out there.

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  3. I like the drums - always wanted to be a drummer when I was young. I've taken a few drum sessions on African drums and I find the rhythm to be comforting in a way.

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  4. FANTASTIC photos! Love the all the bright colors you captured!

    Looks like you had a super time!

    Yes, we had our African celebration festival here in Philly about two weeks ago. It was called, Odunde.

    Enjoyed the video clip!

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    1. I put the festival name up in the first photo, but didn't write it because I don't want local people landing on me through googling it! It's grown over the years that I've been here.

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  5. that sounds like a rather cool time...nice bit of culture and bet it was pretty amazing to feel those drums in your chest as they danced....

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    1. Yes it was - the beat just gets right into you.

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  6. Now I would really have enjoyed that. I watched a shortened version of that kind of thing at the NC Museum last year and so loved it!

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    1. I like watching dance of just about any sort.

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  7. Was it from any specific culture or part of Africa? The last 'costumes' look rather West Africa, one of the coastal countries.

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    1. West African, mostly, and the name is Swahili. But its designed to help the African-American folks here reclaim their heritage in a positive way.

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  8. Looks fun! I didn't know that stilt walking had anything to do with African culture. Interesting!

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    1. I read that the stilt walkers are an Ivory Coast tradition that symbolize effort toward goals. I wish I'd captured them dancing on those things - it was pretty amazing.

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  9. That looks like so much fun. I love drums.

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  10. We have fountains like that in Belfast and I always feel the same - I'd love to play around in them like the kids! Perhaps there should also be some bigger fountains for the adults to enjoy?

    The stilt-walkers were dancing? Wow, that's incredible, I'd love to have seen that!

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    1. I think the fountains are a great idea - a pretty safe way to let kids cool off.

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  11. Dancing stilt walkers? Wow. As children stilt walking was a very Scandinavian thing to do, the ones where you stand half way up the poles with the rest above your waist. Much the easiest way to do it. I still used to do it when in my forties but not sure of my balance nowadays. I wonder how stilt walking came to be identified with different cultures, interesting.

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    1. I don't know how the stilts were attached to their legs, but they weren't holding on to them. And during the dancing, they were jumping around on the stilts like it was nothing. Very impressive.

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  12. Another 'old' blogger I'm glad to find again :) I have a fountain similar outside my house... guess what I'm gonna do tonight! (Formerly Eternally Distracted)

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  13. We sometimes have African dancers and musicians come into the library to perform. Mostly West African traditions, it seems. Thanks for the video, very cool.

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  14. I've just been reading about Twila Tharp, and, between that and this, I've decided I haven't danced nearly enough in my life! Next life I'll ask for a set of drums for my second birthday and refuse to go to a school run by nuns!

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    1. Isn't that the truth? It's what I miss most about college.

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  15. What fun! If I lived in the area I'd have been in the thick of it.

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  16. This would be a great thing to take my kids to. Something animated and lively that would catch their attention.

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