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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance Video Clips

African Dance Performances



Imani Dance and Drum Company performs two African dances. The first, lambah, originated in ancient Mali. Lambah is also important musically, a jamboree for the musicians. The second dance is a plantation/ring shout performed to the Jerry Silverman song “Raise a Ruckus Tonight.” This dance represents the style of dance and music found in African slave communities on plantations in the Southern United States, the Caribbean islands, and other locations. Many people danced as a way to cope with their situation; to convey feelings about their lives and owners; and, in some cases, to convey hidden messages. Just as in Africa, the dance was for everyone, but each person entered the dance based on age and gender. Both the lambah and the plantation/ring shout performed on this video were choreographed by Harlina Churn-Diallo.

Suggested Uses:

  • Show as an example of traditional African dance and African-American dance.
  • Use with West African dance excerpts to discuss African dance movements and purposes.
  • Compare to the performance of “Iye, Iye” on the Dance Performances video/DVD.
  • Show to accompany social studies activities relating to African and African-American culture.
  • Use with DanceSense Program 3, “Dance in America.”
  • Use to stimulate discussion of the influence of African dance on American social dance.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

  • See the Dance and Culture section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.
  • See the DanceSense guide in the History and Styles section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About DanceSense:


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