Baka Beyond workshops

KTNA is thrilled to help the Denali Arts Council present two African dance and music workshops led by members of Baka Beyond.


Photo by Matt Collins

Sunday, October 26th, 1 PM at Talkeetna Elementary School

The dance/percussion workshop is an introduction to many styles of African rhythm and dance. All are welcome. Please wear loose clothes you can move in and enjoy being an active part of this joyous occasion! And if you have your own percussion instrument, bring it!

African dance is about presence, spirit and connection. This workshop is an exploration of pan-African dance in a contemporary context, using the principles of African dance and creative explorations to create lyrical contemporary movement. The workshop will develop African dance techniques and aims to access that place in ourselves which is vibrant, playful and awake.

The workshop will be lead by Denise Rowe and Nii Tagoe of Baka Beyond. Denise was born in the UK and has studied African dance in the UK, Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Cameroon, as well as contemporary dance at the Bristol Dance Centre. She is also a student of Aikido and non-stylized movement and producer of several dance films. Nii Tagoe was born in Accra, Ghana, into a royal family made up of master drummers and dancers. As principal percussionist of Baka Beyond, Nii brings a lifetime’s immersion in his deep knowledge of the diverse dance and rhythmic traditions of Ghana. He came to Britain in 1990 as a principal dancer, drummer and teacher in the Adzido Dance Company, and he has choreographed many dances, including Peter Gabriel’s floor show at the London Millennium Dome.

Sunday, October 26th, 4 PM at Sheldon Community Arts Hangar

This workshop will be lead by Martin Cradick and Su Hart, who have been visiting the Baka in the forests of Cameroon for 16 years. They have shared a friendship in music and song, and have spread the Baka’s music worldwide through field recordings, workshops and the performances of Baka Beyond. Royalties earned from these activities are returned to the Baka to support community projects the Baka themselves create, through the One Heart Global Music Exchange.

Hear the full story and be entranced by becoming part of making simple interlocking rhythms in music and song. We will re-create the co-operative grooves of forest music where everyone is listened to and the music is more than the sum of its parts. This is music which brings joy and keeps the group strongly together deep in the forest. There is a powerful unbroken musical tradition which heals arguments and aids survival.

Martin, founder of Baka Beyond, has been playing guitar for over 30 years and began playing music with the Baka in Cameroon in 1992. His first collaboration with the Baka,”Spirit of the Forest” was released to critical acclaim on Joe Boyd’s seminal Hannibal Records label. Martin regularly returns to the rain forest both to play music and to help with development projects. His immersion in Baka life has given him a unique knowledge and understanding of their music and culture.

Su Hart has been visiting and singing with the Baka in the rainforest in southeast Cameroon for the past sixteen years. She is lead singer of Baka Beyond and leads a community choir in her home town of Bath, England. Su has over ten years experience of leading Baka singing workshops around the world, and she is one of the only people in the world to have been initiated into the polyphonic spiritual singing of the Baka women. She is an exceptional leader with a joyful, all inclusive approach.

Admission to the workshops is $12/$20 each/both for DAC members.

Admission for non-DAC members is $15/$25 each/both.

To make reservations, please call KTNA at 733-1700.

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