African Dance Workshop with Aly Keita

  • May 4, 2023 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • House of Eights Dance Studio

    5562 Sackville Street
    Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1L1
Ticket Price (CAD) Free This event is now over

Presented in partnership with Kinetic Studios

Thursday, May 4th @ 6:30pm

Location: House of Eights Dance Studio - Studio 1 (5562 Sackville St, Suite 305)

Duration: 1 hour

Registration: PWYC / By donation

During the workshop, participants of all genders will discover a festive dance traditional to Guinea and typical of Mandingo culture called Doundounba , or the “Dance of the Strong Men.”

Doundounba is a symbolic battle between different Baratis, who assumes responsibility for all ritual events. In Doundounba ceremonies, contenders display their strength and skills to the public to secure their place in society.

Doundounba is a gruelling dance, but with over 30 different rhythmic variations, everyone can dance to its beat! The doundoun is a typical traditional drum of the Mandingo Empire.

Accompanied by the djembe, the doundoun has a deep and low sound. It is the heart of African dance and provides the foundational beat in many different rhythms. In these dances, performers internalize the doundoun's rhythm to stay on beat.

African dance workshop

Participants will be led to discover the “dance of strong men”, the Doundounba , a traditional festive dance from Guinea, typical of Mandinka culture.

The doundounba is a symbolic fight between different "Baratis", responsible for all ritual events. Candidates for this rank show their strength and abilities to the public to secure a place in society.

The doundounba is a challenging dance, but there is nothing to worry about as there are around 30 rhythmic variations in this dance, so women, elders and children can dance to its notes too!

The doundoun is part of a set of traditional drums, typical of the Mandingo Empire. Accompanied by the djembe, the doundoun has a serious and deep sound. It is the heart of African dance and serves as the basis for many rhythms. In African dance, the dancer internalizes the rhythm of the doundoun which is for him a point of reference to stay in rhythm and respect time.

Date & Time

Thu., May 4, 2023 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Venue Details

House of Eights Dance Studio

5562 Sackville Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1L1 House of Eights Dance Studio
Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax

May 1st is marked throughout the world as International Workers’ Day, or May Day. A day when the workers of the world take to the streets (when not facing a pandemic) in every major city around the globe demanding justice, fairness and dignity for all. In North America, May Day has not been as prominent as it is in other parts of the world, but it is still celebrated in most major cities with a variety of political and community actions.  However, May Day isn’t simply a celebration of labour. It is a rallying call against our current economic system, a public declaration that “Capitalism Isn’t Working For Workers,” and an affirmation that a better world is possible.

One of the ways various labour councils and unions mark May Day is through the Mayworks Festival. Mayworks was originally conceived in 1986 by the Toronto and York District Labour Council and the idea has since spread to many cities across the country. The goal behind Mayworks is to bring workers and artists together and to use art to explore themes of justice, solidarity and liberation. Art has always been an important way of expressing political statements and Mayworks continues a long tradition of building bonds of solidarity between artists and labour organizations.

The first annual Mayworks Halifax festival took place in 2009 thanks to the organizing efforts of the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council. Our festival has since grown exponentially from year to year and has now become Nova Scotia’s largest social justice-themed cultural event. Annually, our festival attracts over a thousand diverse audience members who take interest in issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

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