At 4pm on Monday, February 13th, the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium erupted with the sounds of traditional Guinean percussion and song. Eight women took the stage drumming, singing and dancing. Nimbaya! came to the university to teach, perform and create a path for peace through their music. Under the umbrella of ‘Deis Impact! hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis and sponsored by Music Unites Us and the Brandeis Music Department, the group shared a full day of workshops, performances and the screening of the film Wardance with the campus community.
At first, the Guinean women had some difficulty getting the politely silent western audience to engage actively with the performance, however after several attempts the crowd finally let the pulse of the music reverberate through them until nearly everyone was dancing alongside the performers for their final piece. These eight women transformed the sterile setting of the cold concrete SCC building as their compelling rhythms and energetic dances began to ripple through the audience. Despite the simplicity of their set and costumes, which consisting of a number of instruments and simple western dress sporting the Guinean national colors, their riveting rhythms and mesmerizing footwork took the audience on a journey through dust and sand, bringing us to West Africa. TIn other words, they brought a piece of their homeland to our community. These women tell their stories through their powerful music and dance, captivating their audience to the very last beat of a drum.
To find out more about Nimbaya! visit their website.
Photo Credit: David Weinstein