West African Dance 1
West African Dance 1 with Charles Amewudah
This class will meet in person in Louisville at Tim Faulkner Gallery at the corner of Logan and Kentucky Streets. *Vaccination Required; masks will be worn when class meets inside due to weather.
Learn the fundamental movements of Kpalongo Dance from the Ga people of Ghana, West African.
With live drumming, this class will teach you the fundamentals of traditional West African dance with an emphasis on an understanding of the accompanying drum rhythms. Classes start with a thorough warm-up, followed by a sequence of movements across the floor.
In Africa, just as with other parts of the world, dance goes beyond entertainment. Dance (Ceremonial) tells a story, conveys emotion, recounts history, celebrates rites of passage, and helps to unify the community.
Dancing in Africa, specifically West Africa, is generally characterized by the people and the gender of the dancers. While some dances are gender-specific, a lot of others are gender-neutral. In general, men use large body movements, including jumping and leaping, while women dance smaller movements with much use of shuffle steps, the body in a bent position with crooked knees. African dancing can be seen in circle dance form, sometimes with musicians in the middle, or solo dancers, and sometimes couples. Ecstatic seizure is an essential element of both religious and secular African ceremonial dancing.
What you'll learn
- Make a connection with the Ga history to the Kpalongo dance movements.
- Sing the lyrics of the Kpalongo song with the melody.
- Gain experience in how to execute Kpalongo dance movements.
- Know the names of the Ga drums that accompany the Kpalongo dance.
- Recognize the Kpalongo rhythm and transitions (breaks) bit.
- Perform up to 8 Kpalongo dance movements with the Kpalongo master Drum rhythms.
- Build stamina and endurance.
- Participate in a West African dance class dancing Kpalongo with confidence.
In this class, students will learn Kpalongo dance and the Kpalongo drum rhythm as rendered by the Ga people of Ghana, West Africa. The class will begin with discussing the history of Kpalongo dance, the region and people who perform the dance, when and for what occasion the dance is performed. Next is a series of demonstration videos of the natural dance movements of the Kpalongo dance technique, lastly a video with live drummers playing the Kpalongo rhythm.
Further, an example of the call by the drummer to begin and/or change movement, known as a “break” will be demonstrated. As a bonus, I will demonstrate how to improvise on solo dance with accompanied master drum.
By the end of this class, students will know the history behind the movements in the Kpalongo dance, understand the purpose of the movements, can sing the Kpalongo songs, have experience in how to execute the movements, understand the rhythm and recognize the 'break" in the rhythm, and have the ability and skill to attend and participate in a West African dance class with confidence.
Who this class is for:
- This class is for anyone who wants to learn West African dance.
- This class is for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in Ghanaian culture and dance.
- This class is for anyone who wants to learn Ghana and West African dance movements.
- Kpalongo is a very approachable dance. It is for all ages, body types and sizes, and requires no previous dance experience.
- This class is a great way to build stamina, energize and burn calories by having fun.
- This class will benefit all dancers and dance enthusiasts.