Drums, dance bring Africa to Carson City
November 13, 2008
You may have a problem pronouncing the name but you’ll have no problems enjoying the drumming, the dancing and the chance to share the culture of another land when you go to Anouaze Beat African dance group show at the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-15 at 7 p.m.
Five native African drummers will be joined by two locals and a cast of kids from the Wild Horse Children’s Theater in the exciting demonstration of African music and dance.
The name Anouaze means “unity and togetherness” from the Baoule tribe of Ivory Coast. Norbert Yao, an Ivory Coast native and Carson City seller of original African art works, is one of the founders of the group presenting the drum and dance show.
The other spark plug for the show is drummer and coordinator Bridget Isiramen of Nigeria, now living in Reno where she works as a nurse. She was a dancer until she suffered an accident a few years ago and had to stop dancing. She along with Yao perform on the drums at the “Anouaze Beat” multicultural exploration.
The Anouaze Beat dance group is currently visiting elementary schools in Northern Nevada through the Pioneer Center Youth Program, according to Isiramen.
“Our goal is to promote unity and diversity in Reno and Carson City areas,” Isiramen said during rehearsals at the museum, where she was wearing the dress of her native land.
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But just what is the show about?
The opening scene tells it all. The seven drummers rock the air and then the kids come out and hold up baskets, spelling out “A-F-R-I-C-A,” while dancing. Under the direction of the African drummers, the kids seem to meld into Africa kids, matching their steps and movements. Their steps are more alive, more like wound up springs, than just dancing. They seem to want to share their joy in performing with the
Combined with the throb and beat of the hand-struck drums, a sense of Africa creeps into the museum. This is no tepid multicultural lecture; the is multiculturalism in exciting action.
Cast members include locals Josh Lynn and Mickey McDowell on drums. African drummers are Dominic Gean, Verita Ogbebor and Ozie Ogbebor. Wild Horse dancers are Abby Drown, James Black, Isabella Favero, Victor Favero, Athena Favero, Kiana Jiron, Katie Rominger, Jerry Juo, Braeden Garrett, and Ashton Whitley.
Drums, all from the Ivory Coast, are the djembe, dun dun (the “mother” of all drums), a talking drum, the shekere and Congo drums.
The Anouaze Beat group was started two years ago and has performed at Western Nevada College, the University of Nevada, Reno, Comma Coffee and The Brewery Arts Center.
All the instruments, dances, and art are from Africa.
A raffle will be held at the performance for authentic African Art. Proceeds from the raffle will support purchase of additional instruments for the group. Call 884-2226 or 297-5788 for tickets, which will be available at the door.
Tickets to the performance are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, $5 for children 12 and under, and free for those 3 and under. Call the Children’s Museum at 884-2226 for information. Contact Yao at 297-5788 or Isiramen at 997-9575 for information of scheduling performances at schools.
– Write to Sam Bauman at email@example.com.