Get ready to explore African and Caribbean cultures through dance and music.
Tallahassee Community College African Drum and Dance Ensemble will feature students, faculty and community members in this year’s spring show.
For more than 10 years members of the organization have demonstrated the energy and passion of Sub-Saharan African and African Diaspora music, dance and culture. The ensemble began with only 10 members of the Tallahassee community, encouraging participation regardless of age, race, sex or religion.
The group has grown into a established performing ensemble, that is a reflection of incredible wealth of talent and cultural experience in the community. TCC now offers an introductory course, MUN 2830 African Drum and Dance, that gives students a basic introduction to the djembe and some basic dance techniques.
The ensemble director, Sara Brown, said she is looking forward to the event. "African dance is a liberating, powerful, transformative experience on a personal level, and as an educator I've become very passionate about the need for all us in the community to better understand the influence of African ideas and traditions in our culture here," said Brown.
The show will feature choreography and music by Aboubacar Oscar Camara, a talented artist from Guinea. He is an established choreographer and artistic director for dance companies in Africa and the United States, who is expected to add a unique element of culture to the show.
Bianca Hargrett, a member of the ensemble said, "This organization means culture. Having the opportunity to learn and be intimate with African cultures is truly a humbling experience. Many African Americans feel as though black culture starts in America and this experience has taught me that it is only a branch to a much bigger tree.
"I hope to enchant, entertain, and most importantly, educate the audience. I want to encourage my community to connect back to their roots, because I believe that we can't know where we are going if we do not know where we came from."
The performance will be held at 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, in Turner Auditorium on TCC's campus.
Admission is free.
"Obviously, I hope the audience comes out and has a great time. I hope they leave feeling uplifted and empowered. I hope that if they haven't already done so, that they leave feeling inspired to try out African dance, to learn more African music, or just to broaden their understanding of what African culture brings to their world,” Brown said.