Before he and his wife moved to Seattle a few years ago, Abdoulaye Sylla had taught West African dance at Trinity for years, and he’d also presided over weekly drum and dance classes at Hartford’s West Indian Social Club. But before that Sylla had danced in the world-famous Les Ballets Africains, a drum and dance troupe from Guinea (Sylla’s home country). Les Ballets Africains are kind of like the New York Yankees in the world of West African dancing and djembe drumming (the popular goblet-shaped hand drums). Sylla is a stupendous dancer, with astounding energy, virtuosity and a wealth of traditional dance steps embedded in his brain and his feet. He’s also a masterful teacher, able to tailor his classes to children and first-timers as well as to advanced students and pros. Cementing his role as an ambassador for West African culture, Sylla has also led regular teaching trips back to Guinea, bringing a dozen or so loyal drummers and dancers to study for several intensive weeks. Some of his devoted long-time students will host Sylla as he returns to Connecticut to dance, drum and teach on Monday, May 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cast Children’s Theater, 113 Summit St., Manchester, ($20). for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times