Dundunba intensive weekend

This weekend retreat is designed for experienced drummers and dancers who would like to get a grasp of this very difficult rhythm from Guinea, West Africa. If you are interested in coming, please email mitzimcrae@hotmail.com or call Mitzi on 0439 334 197

  • 8th – 10th July 2016
  • Sokil Arts Eco Retreat

Directions here (1.5 hrs from Melbourne, near Aireys Inlet)

Sokil Arts Eco Retreat is a beautiful spot surrounded by bushland and close to the beach.

African dance with Naby BangouraCOST
Full $230
Day rate $85
Drum hire $5/day
Spectator $70

Please make sure your deposit is paid by 1st July. You can pay online  here.

Comfortable cabins sleeping up to 8 people. Sheets and pillows are provided but you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bags and blankets.

BYO breakfast and lunch foods. Vegetarian dinners supplied on Friday and Saturday. Tea, coffee and snacks provided.
There is a well-equipped large kitchen with cutlery and crockery.IMG_7950

Mohamed Camara
Simon Lewis
Mitzi McRae

Each day we will separate drummers and dancers into groups and spend time learning and playing dundunba, sangban and kenkenny parts. Drummers will also learn the differences between parts within rhythms of the dundunba family and how to respond to specific solo dance moves.
Dancers will learn some new choreography that they can incorporate into their solos and how to feel the time in different parts of the rhythm.
Classes will occur between 9.30am and 4.30pm on both days, with a break for morning tea and lunch.

Bonfire jam in the evenings.

BOOKINGSCamp Samatou
Email or call Mitzi:

Dundunba – the Dance of the Strong Men


‘Dundunba’ is the name given to a family of rhythms that come from Hamanah, a region in upper Guinea. There are said to be approximately 20 rhythms within this family, each given names that reflect their place of origin, names of people they are dedicated to or from characteristic of the dance.

In Dundunba rhythms, there is always an emphasis on the ‘off beat’ which makes it particularly difficult to hear the pulse (for our ears!) As such, they are very challenging to play. These rhythms are intriguing for lovers of West African dance and music all over the world.

Traditionally – for the Malinke people of Hamanah – Dundunba was played as a social ritual and involved mainly the men. It was associated with decision-making, social hierarchy and was often an opportunity to express tension and aggression within the community.

Nowadays, this popular rhythm and dance has been adapted to suit ensemble performances, and the movements are evolving as dancers come up with new ideas and compete with one another. It has become faster and more complex and continues to change. The clip below shows a relatively ‘modern version’ of a dundunba party in Conakry.