Day 6 (Monday) of the camp.
Mamady has split the class into advanced and intermediate groups. There are eleven people (some not so advanced) in the advanced group.
The intermediates started on a rhythm called Deniya, composed by Mamady. Deniya means "youth" or "childhood". Mamady spoke quite a bit about his childhood, how he was taken away at age 12 to join the (not yet formed) Ballet Djoliba, and how he missed his family and village. Reading between the lines, there was a lot of pain and sadness in him in those days, and Mamady himself said that there is a large part of childhood that he missed out on. The rhythm is a 6/8 where the djembe accompaniments start on the last (3rd) micro-pulse before the 1 and the 3. Some of the intermediates where struggling mightily with feeling that right, endlessly pushing the first note onto the pulse...
The advanced group did the solo for Soliwulen. It's the same solo as on Mamady's volume 4 DVD. Soliwulen is a mask dance that is performed at the end of the rainy season, after the work in the fields is out of the way. Soliwulen drives bad spirits out of the village. We got most of the way through that--just the final phrase missing at the end of the session.
The second rhythm in the pyramid is Djaa. We learned a short (but effective) intro to transition from Sira into Djaa. The 3+ minute break for Sira is now hanging together nicely.
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