Boston’s third, annual Ndaje (“Come Together”) West African celebration, June 26th through June 28th, 2009, featuring open dance classes from 4:00 pm through 10:00 pm on Friday, and from 10:30 am through 6:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, is being held at the Dance Complex, located at 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. (www.dancecomplex.org)
Pape N'Diaye, master dancer and choreographer from National Ballet of Senegal, is the founder and director of the event, “bringing the culture and spirit of Africa to Boston in this fun-filled, three-day celebration!” (http:///www.papendiaye.com). International master dancers from Senegal, Guinea, Mali and the United States, such as Youssouf Koumbassa, Djeneba Sako, Mariama Basse, Babacar N'Diaye, and Boston-based Fatou N’Diaye-Davis, Joh Camara, and Pape N’Diaye – with the Ndaje School of African Arts – will lead new and seasoned dancers, who join together in the celebration of the West African heritage. Authentic drumming, dancing, singing, story telling, theatre, costuming and the inclusive tradition of “full audience participation” will rock the Dance Complex halls, attracting passers-by who hear djembe and sabar rhapsodies for nearly 72 hours, allowing only time to sleep.
Just as attractive as the line-up of artists and classes is the cost. Dance workshop costs range from $13 USD for one class to $150 USD for 15 classes, with additional options for purchasing drum lessons, tickets to the “Les Enfants du Soleil” African Dance Theatre dance performance, to be held at MIT’s Little Kresge Theatre, 84 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, and tickets to the post-performance party, also to be held on June 27th.
Authentic food, clothing and crafts are also provided by vendors, and once this party is over, ongoing classes are offered by Pape N’Diaye, “Mama” Fatou N’Diaye Davis, and Joh Camera, at the Dance Complex, so you needn’t ever lose the beat ... or the motion.