Bring your comfy clothes and bare feet and you'll be set to join in the fun of learning some West African dance moves and a short routine. You will also to be able to incorporate your own moves with live African drumming to accompany you. Suitable for anybody regardless of previous dance experience.
Parents are welcome to watch and join in. The rhythms and dances of West Africa are deeply rooted in the culture and form an integral part of celebration of rites of passage and the seasonal cycle such as harvest and the full moon. West African dance embodies grace and fierceness allowing expression of a variety of movement forms. This dance form has become popular across the world attracting people of all ages and cultures. In this workshop, participants get to experience joy and freedom through movement and rhythm, and to feel the connection with the earth and a sense of community. Together we will learn a range of moves building up to a short choreography and we will learn how to connect with the music and the drummers. West African moves are big, fluid and energetic - expect your heart to get pumping, your body to free and your mind to relax.
Suitable for: kids (9-12 yrs)
Duration: 45 minutes
Presenter: Annika Wagenhoff
Annika grew up in Germany and moved to Dunedin in 2007 to pursue a degree in Ecology. There she discovered and fell in love with traditional and contemporary West African dance. She has since travelled extensively to further study the dances and rhythms with world-class dancers and teachers, e.g.Youssouf Koumbassa, Alseny Bangoura, Robert Koffie Fugah, to name a few. In 2015, she joined Āwherika, a high-energy West African drum and dance performance group with members from all over New Zealand, who have performed in Wellington, Palmerston North and at the Little River drum festival 2015. She is actively engaged in the West African drum and dance scene in the Nelson area organising workshops for and with visiting artists and performing at community events. In 2016, she played drums or danced with her second performance group Konkoba and her local drum and dance group at the Nelson Arts Festival's Masked Parade, the Big Bang festival to raise awareness for TradeAid, the open day of the Chandrakirti Meditation Centre, and at the Nelson A&P show.