Friday, 20 April 2007

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!


It was with this ‘jumpy shout’ conjuring up happiness and excitement at the beginning of the weekend that my favourite radio station in Botswana, Gabz fm, started its programmes on Fridays, while suggesting interesting things to do in the weekend: It’s Friday!!!! How I miss it sometimes…

One thing that particularly springs to mind at the weekend is dance: in a club, at home, wherever! It’s not just about happiness and excitement, it also acts therapeutically to cleanse body, mind and soul of all impurities accumulated during the week.

When thinking about dance, I recall my sparse dabbles at “structured” ways of doing this thing that always comes to me naturally, impulsively and instinctively since I was born, which is not to mean that my dance is not “naturally structured” by any sound I move to…

One such instance was in the early 80s in Luanda at a weekly “jazz dance” class given by the Swedish UN representative’s wife in her need to use her idle time. Another, also for “jazz dance”, was in the early 90s in Lisbon, at a formal dance company, where I had as teachers a female dancer/choreographer of French-Algerian origin and a Russian male former professional classical dancer, who had been forced out of the big stages and spotlights by a permanent knee injury. In both cases, I felt, with very rare exceptions, somewhat uncomfortable, due to being constrained to "perform" moves in ways that didn’t come naturally to my mind or to my body, added to the rigidity and extreme competitiveness characteristics of such environments…


Then, some 8 years ago, I attended a series of special African dance classes at the Africa Centre in London, given by one of the main female dancers/choreographers from Ghana. The music was played by African drummers from West Africa, including Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon, and the classes were attended by people of all races, ages and nationalities… it was my best “structured” dance experience so far! Unfortunately, it was cut short by the decision of its directors at the time to stop all “noisy” activities at the Centre (because the dance classes, which were accompanied by drums, were followed by African drum classes…), arguing that they interfered with the more “serious” events going on in there, such as conferences, workshops, roundtables and the like… Such a shame!

Anyway, I didn’t feel “lost in dance” because of that, since I always carry my natural dance and my music, as an intrinsic part of my life, everywhere I go…
Did I say anything about "art"?


I don’t know if the African drum’s classes were ever retaken at the Africa Centre, but one thing is for sure: you can catch them pretty much anywhere in London these days. They’ve joined activities such as yoga, pottery, etc. in the common menu of healthy things to do in your leisure time!

You can find them at such places as the Drum Jam or the evocatively named Nzinga Dance.


(All pictures © Nzinga Dance™)


It was with this ‘jumpy shout’ conjuring up happiness and excitement at the beginning of the weekend that my favourite radio station in Botswana, Gabz fm, started its programmes on Fridays, while suggesting interesting things to do in the weekend: It’s Friday!!!! How I miss it sometimes…

One thing that particularly springs to mind at the weekend is dance: in a club, at home, wherever! It’s not just about happiness and excitement, it also acts therapeutically to cleanse body, mind and soul of all impurities accumulated during the week.

When thinking about dance, I recall my sparse dabbles at “structured” ways of doing this thing that always comes to me naturally, impulsively and instinctively since I was born, which is not to mean that my dance is not “naturally structured” by any sound I move to…

One such instance was in the early 80s in Luanda at a weekly “jazz dance” class given by the Swedish UN representative’s wife in her need to use her idle time. Another, also for “jazz dance”, was in the early 90s in Lisbon, at a formal dance company, where I had as teachers a female dancer/choreographer of French-Algerian origin and a Russian male former professional classical dancer, who had been forced out of the big stages and spotlights by a permanent knee injury. In both cases, I felt, with very rare exceptions, somewhat uncomfortable, due to being constrained to "perform" moves in ways that didn’t come naturally to my mind or to my body, added to the rigidity and extreme competitiveness characteristics of such environments…


Then, some 8 years ago, I attended a series of special African dance classes at the Africa Centre in London, given by one of the main female dancers/choreographers from Ghana. The music was played by African drummers from West Africa, including Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon, and the classes were attended by people of all races, ages and nationalities… it was my best “structured” dance experience so far! Unfortunately, it was cut short by the decision of its directors at the time to stop all “noisy” activities at the Centre (because the dance classes, which were accompanied by drums, were followed by African drum classes…), arguing that they interfered with the more “serious” events going on in there, such as conferences, workshops, roundtables and the like… Such a shame!

Anyway, I didn’t feel “lost in dance” because of that, since I always carry my natural dance and my music, as an intrinsic part of my life, everywhere I go…
Did I say anything about "art"?


I don’t know if the African drum’s classes were ever retaken at the Africa Centre, but one thing is for sure: you can catch them pretty much anywhere in London these days. They’ve joined activities such as yoga, pottery, etc. in the common menu of healthy things to do in your leisure time!

You can find them at such places as the Drum Jam or the evocatively named Nzinga Dance.


(All pictures © Nzinga Dance™)

5 comments:

Cleo said...

You said it, Koluki Friday, finally!

The last three months have been brutal in terms of work and other events, and i know it will not get any better for the rest of the year, so I'd better enjoy every little break I have!

I have started my week-end with a class of wine on a long jacuzzi bath, accompained with sound of my Brazil Chill CD's. My favourites hang outs GeorgeTown and Adams Morgan are way too croweded, and I am way too tired go anywhere, tonight, so I decided to read my favorite blog. Tomorrow I will attend a Bolivian wedding so I better save some energy for dancing!

I am just enjoying watching the sunsetting through the trees in the back of my house. This area is beautiful in any season and particularly vibrant in the spring. The weather promises to be super over the week-end and I am sure that 90% of my neighbours will be taking care of their yards. Mine has already been taken care of.

I am tempted to call a friend for branch and shopping at the Eastern market Sunday morning, but again I might decide to go read and just have a coffee at Borders or Panera. I have not decided, yet!

But anyway, life is beautiful enjoy your week end.

Alex said...

What explosion of energy in the picture!

Nick said...

I already knew the Drum Jam, but now must look out for Nzinga Dance… although very intimidated by their “levitation” skills!
Enjoy your weekend.

Maria Muadié said...

Quero pular assim! Quero pisar o ar...

Koluki said...

Cleo, what a nice and relaxing way to start your weekend! And wonderful description of it too… I’m sure it has inspired others to do, if not the same, something similar… Keep up the good work!


Alex: Exactly… what an explosion! It’s the sort of energy that emanates from those who have been eating fufu all their lives since they were born and don’t need to think twice before attempting a dance step… or a dance jump!


Nick: good you felt inspired! Let us know of your progress with Nzinga Dance, if you do join them... better still, send us a picture of your first jump!


Martha: tambem eu, minha querida, tambem eu!


HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED YOUR WEEKEND!!!