Our workshops are available in English, French or Spanish

We are available for drumming worshops and shows all over British Columbia, North Territories, Alberta and Manitoba

Children in grades K-6 love to move and learn through engagement of the whole self. Our elementary workshops are focused on fun and games, exploring their own self-expression as well as learning to appreciate other cultures and ways of being.

Our goal is to let the children discover and experience West African culture through dance, drumming, singing and language! Children will have an opportunity to express themselves using these beautiful and engaging ancient art forms.

Every flourishing civilization provides for its children artistic expression and the ability to understand its meaning. During our West African drum workshops, the children will feel the strength and beauty that exists within each of them through engaging with the power of traditional dance and drum.

Assembly Program For Schools

Technical requirement for Assembly Program:

Set up time: 30 minutes

Wood floor measuring: 25 ft by 25 ft.

P.A. system

Number of performers: 3 artists on stage

The following information is intended to help you prepare for our visit. It includes a description of the program and some of the instruments we will use. A study guide will also be provided.

About Malicounda Dance Company
Malicounda Dance Company performs music and dance from West Africa primarily in Canada and the United States. Our program will help build an awareness of a different cultural context. This will help in recognizing the similarities that we all have as people and respecting the differences from which we can all learn.

Our goal is to let the people discover another culture through movement, singing, drumming and language!

About the performance
Dance has been an important part of West African society for many thousands of years. Music and dance play an important role in major life events: birth, rites of passage, harvest, weddings, war, funerals, praying for rain, and honoring the ancestors. Every dance has its own rhythm though song.

“Dancing is an expression of a physical, psychological and spiritual state of being that enables people to give meaning and context to their greatest joys, hopes, frustrations, fears or sorrows. This expression contributes to a sense of wholeness. Diversity is the key to African dance, which can be as spontaneous as moving to the beat of an highlife rhythm, or may involve an elaborate rite of passage performed for centuries in celebration of the community (Tracy D. Snipe). In West Africa, dancing and drumming is part of everyday life.”

Description of the performance

The performance will be with live drumming. Some aspects of the performance are interactive; we will invite people to join us.

  • Time : 1 hour
  • Songs from West Africa: Interactive clapping with audience to help learn rhythm.
  • Dances:
    • Aconcone: Aconcone is a fertility dance originally from the Joola people from Senegal and Gambi .
    • Yankadi: Yankadi is a courting dance performed by adolescent boys and girls of the Susu people of Guinea.

Musical instruments will be introduced and include:

Kutiro-ceruba: drum from Gambia , made from goat skin and played with a stick.

Krin: Log drum use to send message between villages.

Djembe: A drum originally from Mali that has since migrated throughout West Africa . Djembe drums have an hourglass shaped body usually made from the wood of the Dumbe tree. The head of the drum is made with goatskin, which is fastened to the wood body with rope. The rope is pulled and woven around the drum to tighten the skin and raise the tone of the drum.

Dunduns: The dundun is the foundation of the rhythm and is originally from Mali , West Africa . The dundun is a cylinder usually made from the wood of the Dumbe tree. Both ends of the drum are covered with cow skin. Ropes are used to fasten the skins to the body of the drum. Dunduns come in different sizes and produce different tones based on its size. The dundun is usually played with sticks. A bell can also be attached to drum so the player can combine the sound of the dunduns and the bell while playing a rhythm. The dundun is an older instrument than the Djembe.

Kalimba: The Kaliba from Ghana is an African musical instrument consisting of a wooden board with attached staggered metal tines, played by holding the instrument in the hands and plucking the tines with the thumbs. The mbira is usually classified as part of the lamellaphone family and part of the idiophone family of musical instruments.