Friday, September 23, 2011

Wanda's Picks September 23, 2011

Our first Guests talk about Duniya Dance & Drum Company and the African Advocacy Network's "Lanyee: A Ballet from Guinea, West Africa," a spectacular performance of high energy West African dance and music, Sept. 30, 8 PM, Oct. 1, 8 PM and Oct. 2, 6 PM at Dance Mission in San Francisco, CA.

Alpha Oumar “Bongo” Sidibe is a traditional drummer from Conakry, Guinea in West Africa and lead vocalist and founder for Wontanara band. He is Musical Director of Duniya Dance and Drum Company. Bongo studied with Master Drummer Mamady Keita at his school, Tam Tam Mandigue, Guinea, and participated in his workshops in Conakry and Balandougou, Mamady’s village. He performed with Ballet Jah Karlo in Dakar, Senegal, and recorded the CD “N’dguel Fall” and toured with Orchestre Baye Fall. Before leaving Guinea, he was co-director of Balandougou Kan, a group of traditional percussionists and dancers. Since arriving in the U.S., Bongo has performed with Rhythm Village, Joan Baez, Bolokada Conde, Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead, and Black Nature from the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars at venues such as Shoreline Amphitheater, The Independent, and De Young Museum. Bongo teaches regular drum classes in the Bay Area, and has also taught with Young Musicians and Artists, Out of Site Center for Arts Education and San Francisco Ballet.

Joti Singh is a choreographer, performer, and instructor of Bhangra and Bollywood dances from India and dance from Guinea, West Africa. She is the Artistic Director and founder of Duniya Dance and Drum Company. She was an Artist-in-Residence at CounterPULSE, in 2008. In addition Joti apprenticed Guinean dancer Alseny Soumah through the ACTA Apprenticeship Program and received the organization’s Traditional Artist Development Grant. She participated in the Margaret Jenkins CHIME mentorship program during 2009, studying Mexican Folklorico dance with Zenon Barron. Joti received the Creative Work Fund and SF Arts Commission grants to collaborate with Barron’s company Ensambles Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco to create a piece on the Punjabi Mexican communities of California, which premiered in November 2010. She teaches Bhangra, Bollywood and West African dance classes regularly all over the Bay Area, as well as nationally and internationally. Please see her website for more information:

Our second guest,Intisar Sharif, RN, speaks about the Prevention Well Project in Somalia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, 6-9 PM at Eden Palm Apartments Hall, 53 Monterey Road, San Jose, CA 94511, (408) 799-5947. The Well Project costs $10,000 as the land is hard and the drill bits break often as the engineers dig deeply into the earth to locate water (because of the drought). Only $7,000.00 has been raised so far. This means that the school Intisar and her sister also started has been vacant as children travel with their families to find water for their herds.

Both Intisar and her sister, Hayat Atteyeh, RT, initiated this project ten years ago using land inherited from their grandfather. Their uncle, Mohamed Atteyeh is the engineer who supervised building the clinic. They live in California and London but travel to the village. Another uncle, Mohamood Atteyeh, is living in Somalia and will supervise drilling the well. Other friends and relatives are contributing to these projects with money and expertise.

Contact by email or send donations to Hayat Atteyeh, 484 Ardis Avenue, San Jose, CA 95117.

We close with the director and cast from Lorraine Hansberry Theatre's opening season:Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. . . Lorraine Hansberry Theatres 2011-2012 Season opens with two One-Act Plays: Day of Absence and Almost Nothing, October 11-Nov. 20, 2012. Visit or call (415) 474-8800.

Steven Anthony Jones, LHT Artistic Director, and director of these two plays, joins us with cast members: Carla Punch, Rhonnie Washington, Catherine, and Wilma.

Mr. Jones (director) has worked professionally on stage, television and film for 37 years. Most recently, he was a core company actor at American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.), where he acted, directed and taught, and where he has been seen in November, 'Tis a Pity She's a Whore, Blood Knot, The Imaginary Invalid, After the War, Happy End, Gem of the Ocean, Female Transport, Levee James, Waiting for Godot, Yohen, The Three Sisters, The Dazzle, Night and Day, Buried Child, A Christmas Carol (Scrooge and The Ghost of Christmas Present), Celebration and The Room, "Master Harold"...and the boys, The Misanthrope, The Invention of Love, The Threepenny Opera, Tartuffe, Indian Ink, Hecuba, Insurrection: Holding History, Seven Guitars, Othello (title role), Antigone, Miss Evers' Boys, Clara, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Saint Joan, King Lear, Golden Boy, and Feathers. Other local theater credits include Fuente Ovejuna and McTeague (Berkeley Repertory Theatre); As You Like It (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival); The Cherry Orchard, Every Moment, and The Island (Eureka Theatre); Sideman (San Jose Repertory Theatre); and Division Street (Oakland Ensemble Theatre). He originated the role of Private James Wilkie in the original production of A Soldier's Play at the Negro Ensemble Company in New York. His many film and television credits include two seasons of Midnight Caller and a recurring role on the NBC series Trauma. Mr Jones received his early theatre training at Karamu House in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of Yankton College in South Dakota. Other experience includes the Cleveland Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, among others.

Music: Keb'Mo's "Wake Up Everybody," Babatunde Lea's "African Tapestry, Prayer for a Continent," and two selections from Fely's latest CD, Maturite: "America, Land of Hope" and "Topaz, Working for Someone Else."


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