4
| Dance |

Do the Djun Djun with Delou Africa's Drum and Dance Festival

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

It was the full-bodied movements of those bare-breasted women that first lit Njeri Plato-Dioubate's long-term love affair with West African dance. And it was enough to convince the Trinidad-born performer, who had previously focused on Caribbean folklore dancing, to permanently change course. "It just captured me," says Plato-Dioubate. She remembers marveling at the dancers, thinking, "Wow, this is life."

Give yourself a taste of the exotic this weekend by checking out the inaugural African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival of Florida. Discover the instruments, join a drumming workshop, learn to sing, and do the downward dog with Plato-Dioubate's Delou Africa Dance Ensemble.

First, learn your instruments. Think of the shekere -- a hollowed-out gourd covered in a netting of seeds -- as an African maraca, and the balafon as a wooden glockenspiel you tickle with padded sticks. As you might have guessed, there'll be plenty of drum-bangin' at this soiree. You'll learn how to make infectious beats on djun djun, djembe, kutiro, and other African percussion. And in addition to drumming workshops, the three-day festival features West African dance and song classes, yoga, and a seminar on holistic health and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Established in 1987, the 18-member dance ensemble has carved out a small but successful niche for itself. "Since 2000, we've been planning in our heads for this," says Plato-Dioubate.

African Diaspora Dance and Drum Festival of Florida. August 6 to 8, 2010. Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212-260 NE 59th Terr., Miami. Tickets cost $10-$16. Call 305-978-3866 or visit delouafrica.com.

-- Kaila Heard

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.