Using drumsticks and barstools, drum students choreograph patterns and rhythms similar to this: Drums and Barstools
Flyer from premiere of drum classes in Summer 2016:
Streetdrumming! (on break)
5-gallon buckets + 1-gallon paint cans + drumsticks = streetdrumming
West African Drums!
This fun and high-energy class will cover the basics of West African drumming and is open to complete beginners as well as those who have some drum experience. We play on djembes with our hands and dununs with drumsticks.
We start by learning the rhythms of traditional West African music. Then, we’ll put them together with song and dance!
One of our beginning rhythms:
The ‘Moribayassa’ rhythm and story:
Moribayassa is the name for a very old rhythm and dance which, to this day, plays a highly unusual role in the life of a woman. If a woman has a really big problem, such as illness in the family or childlessness, she will at first lay claim to all the opportunities for help in the village. As her last hope, she takes a vow: When this huge difficulty is over, I will dance Moribayassa. Between this decision and the dance, years can pass. This vow is so significant that a woman can take it only once in her life. Even today, the rhythm is played exclusively for this joyful dance of a woman who has overcome a difficult fate.
For the dance, she dresses in old, worn clothes, showing her legs and dancing like a crazy woman. She moves around the village seven times, singing and dancing, accompanied by one or more musicians.
The women of the village follow her and sing, too. After that, the dancer changes her clothes and buries the old rags under a mango tree. In my village, this mango tree is called Moribayassa.
(from the traditional ethnic group Malinke, North East Guinea)