Mon | Sep 28, 2020

African dance festival returns to Mammee Bay

Published:Wednesday | February 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Williams/Gleaner Writer
A scene from a dance workshop at the 2017 Jamaica African Dance Arts and Culture Festival.

Traditional and contemporary dances of Africa, will take over the lawns of the View of the Ocean Resorts on Mammee Bay Estates in St Ann, from February 15 - 18 when the third annual Jamaica African Dance Arts and Culture (JADAC) Festival unfolds.

Registration will be on Thursday, after which there will be a drum and dance circle, followed by three days of classes. Nightly activities include 'African Night' (Friday), an all-white pool party (Saturday), and a cultural presentation and awards ceremony on Sunday, when the Tribute to the Ancestors, Cultural Ambassador, Cultural Warrior and Conscious Queen awards will be handed out. There will also be a Children's Day on Saturday (February 17) which offers four free classes for children with a paying adult.

The event is being produced by Jamaica-born Amaniyea Payne and Sophia Newman-Walsh (APSNW) in collaboration with ReggaeToReggaeRadio and TV Indigenous People Media. It includes dance and drumming workshops, a movie screening and art exhibits. Drum and dance classes will be offered in Sorsonet, a Guinean female dance, and Doundoun, another dance from Guinea, among other types.

Some of the confirmed dance teachers, including some from Guinea and The Congo, include Idy Ciss, Kameika brown, Linda Johnson, Nimatoulaye Camara, Khalidah Kali and Amaniyea Payne, while the drums will be beaten by Moustafa Reds, Clifton Robinson, Ryan Greenidge and Linval Walker.

"We return to Jamaica to continue to uncover, highlight and engage in the rich African heritage found in every cultural and religious practice, language, music, food and area of Jamaican life," APSNW said.

"The JADAC Festival focuses on the dance, drumming, arts and culture of this fruitful island and its strong African presence ... We welcome and provide economic opportunities for local vendors to provide delicious food, crafts, specialised goods and services during the festival," they added.