Skip to main content

Caro Diallo and the Abene West African Festival, August 19 -23, 2009

Massachusetts’ West African dancers shine in the Northern limelight this weekend as one of Boston’s favorite Senegalese and Malian master teachers, Caro Diallo, consecrates the stage in Brattleboro, Vermont. Mass residents and artists flock to the sixth, annual Abene festival, where traditional dance and drumming will be taught, beginning at 10:30 each day, Thursday through Sunday, with open classes geared for all levels of proficiency. Djembe, Kutiro and Sabar dance techniques and drumming rhythms are taught by Caro and Ibrahima Thiokho Diagne, Baba N’dao, Nick Gangle, and a few “surprise” guest artists (the latter traveling from abroad or other festivals in the U.S.). Authentic Malian cuisine, prepared by Dieneba Macalou, will be served Saturday, followed by a MUST SEE elaborate performance, to be held at The Stone Church, on the corner of Main and Grove Streets.

With his usual exuberance, Senegalese born Caro Diallo captivates students and audience members with his uncompromising vitality, skillful finesse of numerous West African dance genres, and a unique style and grace that even the most enthusiastic ballet aficionado can appreciate. Witnesses to his classroom and on-stage elegance refer to Caro as “awe inspiring,” “captivating,” or simply “marvelous.”

Dancing, drumming and performing professionally for decades, Caro has taught and spotlighted stages throughout West Africa, the United States and Europe, including Switzerland, where he resides part-time. As artistic director and founder and for his West African dance company, Black Soofa, Mr. Diallo has spanned three continents, and continues to grow his stellar reputation – so much so that the Abene Festival in Vermont, generated spontaneously from his U.S. followers – eager to study with him a big closer to home.

Many of Caro’s supporters encountered Djembe, Sabar, Doundoun and Kutiro dance and drumming in Abene, a small village in the Casamance region of southern Senegal, where “Campement in Abene,” his popular dance camp, is located. Just a five-minute walk from a spectacular beach and bedecked with stylish huts and African cooks preparing delectable meals, this dance/drum camp attracts students, world wide. Flights are long but reasonable, and tuition/lodging is low-budget for any American traveler. Not to boast, but I am going to be on the first flight of the New Year, 2010. Hope to see you, there! For more info:
Caro Diallo
Photo by Zachary Stevens