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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance Video Clips

Iye, Iye



In the introduction, host David Thurmond discusses the contributions of African Americans to dance in America. He tells students to watch for movements similar to those in contemporary social dances. He also explains “isolations” and tells students to look for examples of these movements. In the performance, the Imani Dance and Drum Company performs a traditional harvest dance of the Senoufo and Minianka people who live in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and the northern part of Ghana. The “Iye, Iye” dance lasts all night when the harvest is good, but is short when the harvest is bad. The musicians do a call and response with the drum. The dancers enter according to age, with the youngest entering first. The white fabric in the hands of the women dancers represents the harvest of cotton. When men dance this dance, they do not wear shirts, so they can display the sweat it takes to harvest a field. The dancers turn in all four directions to give thanks. Harlina Churn-Diallo choreographed this performance. Yaya Diallo, Terah Israel, and Ethan Israel drum. The dancers are Harlina Churn-Diallo, Ayana Kena Churn, Mone’t Bullard, and Danelle Wright.

Suggested Uses:

  • As an example of African dance.
  • Compare to the other examples of African dance in the toolkit: the “West African Dance” segments and “African Dance Performances” on The African Root.
  • As the focus of a student analysis of dance elements and theme (with Responding to Dance).
  • As part of a social studies unit on African culture.
  • To stimulate discussion of the influence of African dance on American dance.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

See the History and Styles, Dance and Culture, and Responding to Dance sections of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About In Performance:


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951