Friday, September 23, 2011

Local profile - Seydou Sow

Mr Rosanna's cousin Tamsen took up African drumming and dancing a while ago and her passion has been so great, she's also gone to visit West Africa.  We've been lucky to see her perform in the Fairfield Amphitheatre and one of her very talented teachers is Seydou who lives in the north east and teaches in the inner north.  I love those drums and amazing outfits!

Name: Seydou Sow
Occupation: Artist
Lives/works: Greensborough/Brunswick
How long have you lived/worked here?  About 2 ½ years, before that I lived in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa

Describe yourself/what you do:
I am a dancer and I play traditional West African drums, including Sabar drum, djembe and dundun.  Senegalese dancing often involves telling stories through dance.  Some dances are about parts of everyday life in West Africa, things like collecting food and water, and feeding people.  From 10 years of age, I learnt dance from my uncle, with my good friends Lamine Sonko and Ousmane Sonko.  Lamine  and Ousmane also live in Melbourne now.  We are all from a family of 'Griots', or 'culture keepers'.  Our role in our culture is to pass dances, songs and music to the next generation.  My passion is to teach children and I do a lot of work in schools sharing our culture, including our language, stories, music and dance. 
I'm also performing in One Africa and teaching adult African dance classes in Brunswick.  These classes are open to everyone, from beginners to people with experience in dance.   They are held at Broken Mirror Studios, 2C Staley Street, Brunswick, 6:30pm on Wednesday nights ($20 per class).  I am also running a tour to Senegal in January 2012, so that people can experience the amazing drumming and dancing there for themselves.     

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:
It is quiet and peaceful, which allows me to relax my brain and think creatively. I like walking along the creek. I like being away from the city but not too far out. It is good to make a life here. 

For more information:
Mobile: 0432 147 662
Email: seydou.sow@optusnet.com.au
For details of the tour:  http://www.melbournedjembe.com.au

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