Tuesday, October 1, 2013

40th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife

October 5 and 6, 2013 at 2pm! World music, folklore, and dance compliments of yours truly
     Last year, we debuted our extraordinary style of educational entertainment and really drummed up interest in what we do at the 39th Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife.  Due to this year being a monumental event, we have the pleasure of sharing the stage with a few more performers than last year. 

      The itinerary from last year was pretty full, thanks to the city believing in us that we could hold things down all day long.  Phew!  We edutained with fractured fairy tales, world folktales, and, of course, African dance that even involved the audience.  One of the best connections we made was a drummer, Bill who has joined us for pretty much all of our performances from December 2012 up to September 2013. 

     This year, we'll be dancing our signature welcome dance, Funga, along with Lamban (the rhythm of the storyteller), Kuku (the rhythm for a successful day of fishing), and Moribayassa (the rhythm to celebrate overcoming deep problems).  The plan is to bring even more educational fun to the peninsula again this year as well as recruit people interested in the creativity that we enjoy. 

CD Release Party for Savannah Winds

      Mmhmm, we did it again.  Released a CD and threw a party for it.  Thanks to my newest favorite studio lady, Jacki Paolella, we cranked it out AND its all over the place {insert happy dance HERE}.  Talk about good food and good fun, according to the attendees, we really know how to throw a party.  I approve that message!  One of our dancers is Ethiopian and catered a few of the dishes she learned from her mom {insert happy dance encore HERE} 
       Naturally, we had a jamming good time with friends, family, and colleagues as we performed excerpts from the CD.  Unfortunately, famed poet, Tim Seibles, who recites Savannah Winds was unable to attend the party, but lots of folks took a little of Time home with their own CD purchase.
       We had a host of dancers from our Atumpan African Dance group to help start the party off right, plus interactive games with our audience.  In addition to our onstage fun, we were able to debut our signature corn-hole boards, while the face painter dubbed cute little children with either our company logo, our CD cover art, or a picture of their choosing.  Mancala was a popular game, aside from the food.  No mistake, I meant food, 'cause everything was delish.  
       I don't think I mentioned that we were at the historic Attucks Theatre for the fun.  Aside from their regular season of performances with national acts, the Attucks has a pretty cool Arts Incubator setup that allows a teaching space for fantastic artists like ourselves.  The Crispus Attucks Cultural Center is the side of things that coordinates the educational classes by the Artists, as well as a full summer camp and camp series, plus extended community stuff like tutoring and residency stuff at schools and universities in Norfolk.  We love this place.

Savannah Winds FREE samples

Indoor Festival?

      Sure, it looks like we're outside and all, but this is the picture of the performers just before we went inside of the building you see on the right.  Yep, the Franklin Armory is where the forecast of rain landed Atumpan African Dance for the day.  Luckily, it did not rain while we were in Franklin, VA for their annual festival hosted by Parks and Recreation, but its always a good thing to play it safe.
     See?  The festival is indoors, complete with balloon animals and face painter and vendors too.  Inside that brick building, we drafted audience members to join the fun, hence the folks to the far right that aren't in costume, but doing pretty well with Funga, a welcome song and dance.  Notice there is no bounce house, much to the dismay of our Junior Dancers.

     Our junior dancers paraded in the senior (and senior citizen) dancers with some great energy.  If you look over to the far left of the picture, you'll notice the baby dancer hanging out in an idle sort of way.  Baby dancers can be that way.