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Saturday, September 30, 2023 4:00 PM // Ypsilanti Freighthouse

West African Dance at the Freighthouse

Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Public Workshop
Ypsi Freighthouse
 

Originating from the Malinke people of West Africa, Moribayassa is a traditional practice in which participants are invited to relieve their burdens through movement and music. The practice uses dance and live drumming as a way to offer thanks for overcoming obstacles or adversities within the context of community support. Participants will be invited to write, sing, and dance as a healing modality for their struggles.

Recommended for ages 14+, no experience necessary.

Meet the Artists

Heather Mitchell
Heather Mitchell
Djembe Yaru
Nathaniel Waller
Justin Stokes
Justin Stokes
Saturday, September 30, 2023 4:00 PM
Ypsilanti Freighthouse

West African Dance at the Freighthouse

Participatory Experience
Pay What You Wish
Public Workshop
Ypsi Freighthouse
Pay-What-You-Wish tickets on sale now

Originating from the Malinke people of West Africa, Moribayassa is a traditional practice in which participants are invited to relieve their burdens through movement and music. The practice uses dance and live drumming as a way to offer thanks for overcoming obstacles or adversities within the context of community support. Participants will be invited to write, sing, and dance as a healing modality for their struggles.

Recommended for ages 14+, no experience necessary.

Meet the Artists

Heather Mitchell
Heather Mitchell
Djembe Yaru
Nathaniel Waller
Justin Stokes
Justin Stokes
Heather Mitchell
Heather Mitchell

Heather Mitchell is an African Diasporic Dance performing artist in the Kalamazoo community for over 10 years. Her work also includes Choreography at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and The Civic. She is a Teaching Artist with Education for the Arts, as well as a collaborator with Rootead Youth Enrichment Center, Women Empowering Women, Freedom Schools, Wellspring Cory Terry and Dancers, and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

As a dance artist Heather has facilitated numerous workshops and classes that sought to connect people of various backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and abilities to the cultural knowledge, pure joy, and sense of community that African Diasporic dance brings. She believes that dance is the language of the spirit and is meant to be shared with her community!

Djembe Yaru
Nathaniel Waller

Djembe Yaru, Kalamazoo Michigan’s West Afrikan drum and dance group was founded in 2007 by Nathaniel Waller. We are a group of performers and teachers dedicated to the expression of traditional and modern West Afrikan music and dance. We have blended the tradition of West African music and dance and fused it with modern music and culture. We are known to keep the spirit and traditions of West African music alive while continuing to grow in the world we live in today. We have been performing and teaching West African music for over 15 years. We have taught, played, and performed in collaboration with Rootead, Western Michigan University, and The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Our debut album has trended in countries all over the world! Traveling world wide sharing our traditions, music and vision with the world is our passion.

Justin Stokes
Justin Stokes

Introduced to music at a young age, Justin always wanted play music. He began playing drums in his church band around age 8. At age 17 he joined his high school drum line, where he contributes his growth as musician and met Nate Waller. Nate soon introduced him to traditional African drumming. Justin has taken his his musical abilities around the world but has back home to continue his growth with friends and his community.

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