Djembe & Mande Music Page/Review Section
(last revision 02/11/99)


INSTITUTE: LISANGUA YA BATO
PLACE: CATSKILL MOUNTAINS (UPSTATE NY)
TIME: JULY 10-19,1998

This year's Lisangua Ya Bato, July 10-19, was held once again in the heart of the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York, at the Ashokan Field Campus. There's an outdoor dance pavilion, an indoor dance pavilion, a sauna, boating, swimming, hiking trails, a market place and plenty of delicious food, three special events/performances, Friday night's Tanabar (Sabar Dance Party) and Saturday night's Ivory Coast performance, and Nego Gato's Afro Brazilian Dance Party, the following Saturday..... all this plus a stellar cast of instructors.

The line up of instructors this year:
WEEKEND ONE:
DANCE: 
Marie Basse Wiles (Senegal); Youssouf Koumbassa  (Guinea);  Moustapha Bangoura  (Guinea); Raymond Sylla   (Mali)
DRUM:
Cheikh M'Baye  (Senegal) sabar; Abou Kounta  (Senegal) djembe; Youssouf Koumbassa  (Guinea) djembe; Mar Gueye (Senegal) djembe; Medune Vacine Gueye (Senegal) djembe

MID - WEEK:
 DANCE: 
Youssouf Koumbassa (Guinea); Abdoulaye Sylla (Guinea); Moustapha Bangoura  (Guinea); Moumanitou Camara  (Guinea); Jean Claude Lessou (Ivory Coast)
DRUM:
Mouminato Bangoura (Guinea) womens' doundoun;  M'Bemba Bangoura  (Guinea) djembe;  Moustapha Bangoura  (Guinea) sangba;  Madou Dembele  (Ivory Coast) djembe; Mohammed Kamara (Guinea) djembe; Alisco Diabate (Guinea) doundoun

WEEKEND TWO:
DANCE: 
Titos Sompa (Congo); Richard Gonzalez (Carribean); Judith Hall (Haiti)
DRUM: 
Titos Sompa (Congo); Carlos Valdez  (Carribean); Nego Gato  (Brazil)
CAPOEIRA:
Nego Gato-Brazil

Tuition:(includes meals, accommodations and workshops)
weekend one  $225
5 day program $440
weekend two  $225
10 day program $750

There's about a 5% discount for early (before 6/30 this year) payment in full:
50% due on registration, balance due on arrival or before.
Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted but must be prepaid prior to arrival, plus a 3% handling charge.
Refunds are available if prior notice of 7 days is given.

 HOUSING:
Bunkhouse:
Nice, clean rustic single sex bunkhouses with adjoining bathroom/shower facilities
Camping:
375 incredibly beautifully wooded acres with more than enough perfect places to pitch your tent.

 FOOD:
The food was really good, served cafeteria style with choices galore,
including dining indoor, or on the screened-in porch or on the deck next to the river.
Breakfast (served from 8:30-9:30) consisted of a yogurt fruit granola bar with everything you could imagine to garnish plus a hot cereal or pancake or waffle concoction that was to die for.
Lunch (12:30-1:30) was a selection of sandwich makings and salad bar or a hot entree.
Dinner (6:00-7:00) offered both a vegetarian or alternating chicken and fish dish...plus vegetables, rice, salad bar, and desert.
Of course the dining hall served as the community center as well and was open all night with snacks and drinks available.

 CONTACT:  Karen Pardini at KPDANCE@AOL.COM
       (914)-687-9001 or (914)-331-9359
 

A typical day at camp starts with the breakfast bell to rouse you...then drum class at 9:30,dance class at 10:30, lunch then drum class at 1:30, dance at 2:30, an afternoon break to swim, hike, sleep or whatever, dinner then drum class at 7:30 and dance at 8:30.....then off to the sauna or outdoor shower or just drum till you drop....it's paradise.

A bazaar is set up next to the dance pavilion where you can purchase all kinds of goodies, such as African fabric, clothing and crafts, wonderful silk lapas and other clothing made by several attending craftspeople, creams and lotions and potions hand mixed and whipped up by a local dance/drum enthusiast, containers of Shea butter and Shea butter compounds for the skin, jewelry and other things I probably can't remember.

I was signed up, along with 3 others, for a week long drum intensive with Mohammed Kemoko Sano, who for unknown reasons was a no show. We were mainstreamed for the first couple of days, which was fine with us, as the quality of instructors more than stretched us.  On the third day Mohammed Kamara and M'Bemba Bangoura took us on and pushed us higher and harder than we could have ever imagined we could go, a truly unbelievable experience, as both these men are incredible and gifted drummers. M'Bemba was masterful at pulling our best out of us, encouraging and prompting when we would stumble, standing at our shoulders saying the solo, simplifying what I had mystified in my mind. We did have a problem communicating with Mohammed as he spoke very little English, which was frustrating at the time, but as I listen to the tapes of his classes, and begin to understand what he was teaching I realize the frustration was worth the experience. We came home with a whole new perspective and 18 hours of tapes to practice with until next year.

This was a fabulous week, well worth the time and money.  I highly recommend it to any and all to attend next year.  It traditionally starts the second Friday in July and runs 10 full days and nights..save the dates: 1999 July 9-18.  There may be 2 extra days added on starting Wed. July 7 - 18.  Keep you posted.

 with respect,
 Sue Mulvey

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