Bamako Travel Blog› entry 7 of 9 › view all entries
During my stay in Bamako, there were several days where it was arranged for me to take dance classes from a local teacher. There was another woman visiting from Japan who was also interested so we were learning these dances together. Our teacher was Issa Cissokho (pictured at the front with the beer in the accompanying photo) and he has won accolades for his dance ability in both traditional and modern styles. His brother, Moumbe, was our solo drummer and Maje was our expert konkoni player. Jeremy accompanied on the djembe and there's no one better you want in your ensemble since he has diligently (and might I add somewhat obsessively...in a good way) honed his skills over the years. The beauty of dance and music for that matter is that you have common ground without having to verbally communicate. He didn't speak but a few words of English and my Bamana and French also only consisted of a few words. It didn't matter though, all I needed was the music and my powers of observation. You watch, listen and learn. Soon, you find yourself dancing and communicating solely through your movements with the drum.