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This article was prepared for the January 28, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Dance from Senegal

African Rhythms and Traditions, a workshop on West African dance with renowned Senegalese dancer, drummer, and teacher Lamine is offered by West Windsor Arts Council at the Princeton Dance & Theater Studio in Forrestal Village on Sunday, February 1, at 10 a.m. The cultural and educational dance workshop coincides with the beginning of Black History Month. It is designed to introduce members of the community to the rhythms, movements, and traditions of West African dance.

Lamine Thiam is a renowned dancer and drummer from Senegal who teaches various styles of West African dance that include sabar, djembe, Malian, and Guinnean dance, and also dances of Ivory Coast and Gambia. He received his dance training at the national conservatory of Senegal where he studied ballet, jazz, modern, and African dance. The choreographer and artistic director of Bousso Dance Company, he has appeared on television and in major theaters in Africa.

As a teacher, Thiam breaks down the complex dance form by teaching it through manageable steps and sequences. Based on a long folkloric tradition of dancing and drumming, West African dance is performed to celebrate one’s culture and religion, to mark special events and rituals of everyday life, at social functions, and simply to have a great time.

African Rhythms and Traditions, West Windsor Arts Council, Princeton Dance & Theater Studio, 116 Rockingham Row, Forrestal Village, Plainsboro, 609-514-1600. Workshop on West African dance with Lamine Thiam, a renowned dancer, drummer, and teacher from Senegal. No dance experience necessary. Dance or gym apparel; bare feet recommended. Website: Register. $15 adults; $12 for ages 10 to 18. Sunday, February 1, 10 a.m.

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