Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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visit my website – BarbaraBash.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guinea Sketchbook / Part One

This February I spent three weeks in Guinea, West Africa
dancing, sketching and sweating - it was over 90 degrees every day !

I had traveled to Guinea ten years before in 2003
with my dance teachers Pam and Mimo Camara.
Mimo had been a principal dancer for twenty years with Les Ballets Africains -
the National Dance Ensemble of Guinea - which toured the world.
The teachers we would be studying with now were old friends of Mimo
and longtime dancers with the Ballet.

We stayed in a house on the edge of Conakry, the capital.
It was walled and gated. Because of the intensity of the city,
and the political protests going on intermittently,
we sometimes stayed in the compound all day -
dance teachers and friends coming to us.

So the sketchbook begins with what was close at hand in our enclosed world,
surrounded by the sound of roosters crowing, the call to prayer,
footsteps and soft voices passing by beyond the gate-
here is what I saw within these walls . . .







Here is the constellation of Mimo's family and friends
that I came to know and love -


The dances we were learning were complex,
yet I was energized by them, my body felt light and lithe.
I created a pictographic language to help me remember the steps.
Here is the Harvest Dance done holding the round flat baskets used for cleaning rice.


I mapped which areas of Guinea the dances we were learning came from . . .



And here is a clip of our teachers -
Djeli Kany, Mayeni and Djeli Guinee singing to us . . .


video

More to come !

6 comments:

karina said...

Beautiful journal..I was right there with you.

karina said...

Beautiful journal..I was right there with you.

Chris Corrigan said...

Love this Barbara. And can't wait to see you this summer!

Barbara Bash said...

thanks to all - Part Two of the story coming soon - with some of the challenges of sketching OUT there in the world !

truenewsflares.blogspot.com said...

Just wonderful...thank you.

Doria said...

Thanks! This is delightful. I am going to forward it along to my Guinean family.