What’s New with Duniya?
Have you met Joti Singh and Bongo Sidibe, Artistic Director and Music Director, respectively, of Duniya Dance & Drum Company? You’ve probably danced up a storm with one or both of them in the Bhangra and West African dance classes offered right here at Dance Mission (and if not, what are you waiting for?).
And they play a big role in the San Francisco World Percussion Arts Festival here as well, sharing their infectious music and dancing with us at 24th and Mission.
Travel to West Africa
For the past few years, Joti and Bongo have been leading a trip of dance and music students to Conakry, Guinea. You can join them for their next trip, starting December 18, 2013 through January 15, 2014, and have the experience of a lifetime!
In 2011, several Conakry residents approached two dance workshop students and requested English classes. The workshop students eagerly obliged, commissioned a chalkboard and supplies, and began teaching English to dozens of people from the neighborhood. This experience helped spawn the idea for the Duniya Center for Arts and Education (DCAE). The DCAE’s mission is to facilitate educational, vocational, artistic, and social activities, while providing valuable local employment opportunities through the center’s daily operations.
Joti says: “We wanted to fold this new program into the work we have already begun with our dance and drumming trip to Guinea. The idea evolved into a community center where our students from abroad could reside during their stay and get trained in traditional West African dance and drumming, while also engaging in an exchange, by teaching a relevant skill that supports the goals of DCAE.”
Currently, the DCAE offers daily classes in English language and computer skills. The classes are offered at a deep discount and scholarships are available for eligible students. In addition, they have started a micro-lending program, and their initial loan was given to Groupement Elegance, a collective of women who engage in small commerce.
Duniya is having a fundraiser party this Thursday evening, Nov. 14, 2013, at H Cafe, SF, with live performances, a silent auction, and delicious treats, all to benefit the DCAE. For more information or to make a donation, please visit DCAE’s Benefit page.
Dance with Duniya!
And last, but not least, Duniya Dance & Drum Company is holding auditions! They are looking for male and female dancers, trained in a variety of styles, for evening-length theater performances, school assemblies, festival performances, and private gigs, such as weddings, business events, and parties.
Most performances are paid; at this time rehearsals are not paid. Rehearsals are Wednesdays and Fridays 6:30-9pm and occasionally Sundays in San Francisco
Dancers who can pick up choreography quickly, have performance experience, and are trained in Bhangra, Bollywood, or West African dance forms can sign up for the audition by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auditions: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 7-9pm, Symbolic Dance & Fitness, San Francisco.
Audition Fee: $5
For more information about Duniya Dance and Drum Company auditions, traveling to West Africa or the DCAE fundraiser, visit www.duniyadance.com.
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