The University of Denver heralded the end of the spring quarter with a packed performing arts center and an energetic ode to West Africa.
Lively music and drumming inspired by the Wolof and Cassamance regions of Senegal in West Africa energized the DU campus on May 29.
The event, which marked the end of the spring quarter, was held at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts and hosted by students from DU’s Lamont School of Music.
The dancing and drumming, accompanied with circle-like performances, was provided by students from the North Indian Classical Ensemble and the Senegalese Drum and Dance Ensemble, respectively.
But the epicenter of the event was the display of spectacular drumming and dancing, known as sabar, from a certain Senegalese trio; master drummers Vieux Toure, Marsala “Bass” Mbaye, and dancer Safietou “Dallo” Goudiaby.
Their performance was so engaging that several Senegalese people in attendance took to the podium and started dancing themselves.
Toure is an adjunct instructor at the DU music school who has performed with top Senegalese musicians and has taught American students from MIT, Boston University, and the University of Denver.
Mbaye, a music educator and guest artist at the event, works with many cross-cultural university programs in the U.S. and in Senegal. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin. Dallo, who teaches African dance at Colorado College, has been dancing since she was a very young girl.
During the hour and a half performance, Toure was assisted on stage by Sarah Morelli, professor of ethnomusicology at DU.