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Sept. 24: Carnegie Mellon's Center for the Arts in Society, Music School Present West African Dance Ensemble

Contact:

Eric Sloss                         
412-268-5765                       
ecs@andrew.cmu.edu

Carnegie Mellon's Center for the Arts in Society,
Music School Present West African Dance Ensemble

PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society and School of Music present a dance concert performed by the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble Friday, Oct. 5. The concert, free and open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. in Kresge Recital Hall in the College of Fine Arts on Carnegie Mellon's campus.

The performance is a masterful blend of traditional West African dance and drumming. There will also be free drumming and dance workshops for youth Saturday, Oct. 6 in Carnegie Mellon's Skibo Gymnasium. The drumming workshop will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and the dance workshop will take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Call 412-268-5279 to reserve a space in the workshops.

In the performance, the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble will offer a different perspective on West African culture through its intricate display of choreography. The mission of Balafon is to provide an insightful, woman-centered perspective on West African tradition and culture as a source of healing and balance by providing quality education and entertainment. Guided by Kadiatou Conte, a native of the Republic of Guinea and formerly of the world-renowned Ballets National Djoliba, the ensemble brings to the stage an exquisite celebration of classical West African song, music and dance reflecting more than 30 years of experience in the world of African performance arts.

As a performer, Conte served as a cultural ambassador for Guinea. In 1985, Conte, affectionately known as Mama Kadiatou, returned to the United States to fulfill her dream of teaching people about her country's culture. She has taught at Howard University, George Washington University, the University of Maryland, the Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts, and at private and public elementary schools. She believes that dance makes one stronger physically and mentally and is a source of healing and balance in one's life.

For information on the Center for the Arts in Society, call 412-268-5279 or visit http://www.hss.cmu.edu/CAS. For more information on Carnegie Mellon's School of Music, visit http://development.cfa.cmu.edu/external/index.php.

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