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Sufi Raina

Sufi Raina, Teacher of Kathak Dance

The Center for World Music is pleased to welcome Sufi Raina to our roster of distinguished teaching artists, a team of professional musicians and dancers who bring the worlds’ performing arts into San Diego classrooms through World Music in the Schools.

Sufi Raina Headshot

Sufi Raina is a silver medalist in Kathak, one of the preeminent classical dance traditions of North India. She holds a master’s degree in Kathak from Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandar, Punjab, where her mentor was the esteemed Dr. Santosh Vyas. She also holds a master’s in psychology from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Trained in the Jaipur Gharana (tradition), Sufi was a lecturer in Kathak at KMV College Jalandhar for three years. During this time she taught dance as a major to undergraduate students. She also choreographed performances for the college as well as for national youth festivals. She was invited to England by the North Somerset Music Service, as a part of a cultural exchange program, to perform and teach Kathak in schools, introducing students to Indian classical dance.

Sufi Raina Dancing

Sufi has choreographed many dance performances for the stage and national television in India. She was an assistant choreographer for the Punjabi film Heer Ranjha. An innovative choreographer, Sufi is also trained in folk dance forms of India. Her love for Kathak, combined with countless dedicated hours of riyaaz (intense practice), have brought her to many stages across the world, enthralling an international audience with the nuances of this classical Indian dance form.

Sufi moved to Southern California in 2011. Since then, she has been actively performing in the region. A lifelong learner and a teacher by choice, she is the founder and artistic director of Tej Dance Studio in San Diego.

Sufi has recently taught for the Center for World Music as an artist in residence at Innovations Academy and at the San Diego French American School, as well as presenting assembly performances at Hawking STEAM Charter School and at SDFAS.

Want to see more? Visit these links:

Promotional Video for Tej Dance Studio
Kathak Performance Celebration World Dance Day in Punjab, India

Sri Rudraprasad Swain

Best Wishes to Sri Rudraprasad Swain

This month we say farewell to Sri Rudraprasad Swain, our resident teacher for the past six months from the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. His presence in the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance School will be deeply missed.

Sri Rudraprasad Swain began study of Odissi dance at a tender age of five. At age fifteen he joined the Orissa Dance Academy and trained under legendary Guru Gangadhar Pradhan. He was further refined into a versatile and dynamic dancer under Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty. He has participated in prestigious programs around the world—in Thailand, Germany, Europe, and United States—his most memorable performance being at the International Odissi Festival.

During his second residency with the Center for World Music Sri Rudraprasad Swain directed performances and workshops across San Diego County. He taught over forty students ages 5-50.  He produced fourteen performances and two workshops, spreading his passion for Odissi through the classroom and on the stage.  He challenged his students and gave them the confidence to learn Odissi and perform on stage both in solo and group programs.

On behalf of the Odissi Dance School, we wish Sri Rudraprasad Swain farewell and a special thank you for his dedication and commitment, for sharing his passion for Odissi with his students, and for giving us the opportunity to learn a beautiful dance form. We hope that, as he continues his journey in dance as a teacher and performer, his dreams come true. We look forward to his return for another residency.

See Sri Rudraprasad Swain perform on YouTube.

– Reni Biswas, Program Coordinator of the CWM Odissi Dance School

Shalini Patnaik

Shalini Patnaik, Ambassador of Odissi Dance

Center for World Music teaching artist Shalini Patnaik enjoys sharing her ancient art form with the San Diego community. She is one of the leading exponents in her generation of Odissi, the classical dance of northeastern India, and has a passion for teaching and sharing Indian culture through the language of dance. Born and raised in San Diego, California, she traveled repeatedly to India from a young age to learn the art form directly from dance masters in Orissa. Even today, she visits frequently for further training and performances.

Her teachers include the late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and Gurus Aruna Mohanty, Manoranjan Pradhan, and Yudhistir Nayak.

Shalini and her sisters, together known as the “Patnaik Sisters,” were selected by pop superstar Madonna to choreograph and perform for a televised performance at the 1998 MTV Music Awards. She also choreographed for singer Ricky Martin’s 2006 tour. Shalini performed for Pandit Ravi Shankar’s 90th birthday celebration and for other superstars like George Harrison and Sting. Recently, Shalini was invited by Anoushka Shankar to perform as part of her “Traveler” tour.

While Shalini has enthralled audiences across the globe, she truly enjoys sharing her art form with fellow San Diegans, and especially with students.

Shalini and her sisters, Laboni and Shibani, have been instrumental in propagating Odissi throughout North America through performances, lecture demonstrations at universities, schools, and libraries, and teaching in the Center for World Music’s Odissi School. To share their passion for dance with others brings them immense joy; in doing so, they help preserve and propagate this rich, two-thousand-year-old cultural tradition outside of India.

 

Want to learn more?

Traditional dance helps keep sisters in touch with culture, The Coast News (2012)
She matches steps in India and beyond, The Telegraph (2012)

— Shibani Patnaik is a distinguished Odissi dancer, member of the Patnaik Sisters, and Board Member for the Center for World Music.

Máirtín de Cógáin

Máirtín de Cógáin, 21st Century Irish Storyteller

We warmly welcome Máirtín de Cógáin, who joins World Music in the Schools as a teaching artist in residence.

Máirtín de Cógáin-drumming-2Center for World Music artist in residence Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, story-telling bodhrán (Irish frame drum) player, who also is a noted playwright and actor. He performs all over the United States, as well as in his native Ireland. An infectious personality, Máirtín pleasantly commands the attention of all audiences, from concert halls to intimate porches.

Descended from a long line of storytellers, Máirtín is the winner of two All-Ireland awards from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. He often tours with The Máirtín de Cógáin Project, The Fuchsia Band, or Gailfean. A true promoter of “the Ballad,” he searches for those forgotten songs of old and breathes new life into them, as well as writing some new songs of his own. Máirtín learned from many famous Irish singers such as Danni Maichi Ua Súilleabháin, Séamus Mac Mathúna, and Ciarán Dwyer. He is a fluent speaker of Irish (Gaelic) who was brought up in a bilingual home, and attended primary and secondary schools taught in Irish. Máirtín holds a degree in the Irish language from University College Cork.

Máirtín de Cógáin-drummingIf not on stage singing, storytelling, dancing, or playing the bodhrán, Máirtín is treading the boards as an actor, notably in the film The Wind that Shakes the Barley. He has co-written many productions with the Be Your Own Banana Theatre Company, recently playing De Bogman off-Broadway in New York.

Máirtín has been playing the bodhrán for many years, learning first from Eric Cunningham (The New De Danann) and later from Colm Murphy (The Old De Danann). Máirtín has taught bodhrán technique at the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Augusta Irish Week, as well as giving workshops at major U.S. festivals including the Kansas City Irish Fest, CelticFest Mississippi, Minnesota Irish Fair, and La Crosse IrishFest. He also gives private lessons in the San Diego area and along the road while touring.

Máirtín de Cógáin-dancing

A traditional brush dance with his father Barry Cogan

Growing up in a house full of dancing, Máirtín helped teach the steps at the family-run céilís (social gatherings) from an early age, and now teaches the folk dances of Cork to dancers everywhere.

Máirtín makes friends wherever he goes. In a very short time, de Cógáin has become a regular performer at some of the most prestigious Irish festivals in the U.S. Although he can often be found leading a tour group in Ireland, or entertaining guests on a traditional Irish music-themed cruise ship, he now spends most of his time in California, where he lives with his wife Mitra and their young son, who shows great promise as a dancer and bodhrán player himself.

Want to learn more about Máirtín and his career? Visit www.MairtinMusic.com. You can also catch him on YouTube telling a story or singing with friends.

 

Nomsa Burkhardt, Teaching the Traditional Music of the Zulu and Xhosa Peoples of South Africa

The Center for World Music would like to welcome back Nomsa Burkhardt to our family of outstanding teaching artists in residence, rejoining our World Music in the Schools program.

Update: Congratulations to Nomsa Burkhardt, Teaching Artist for the World Music in the Schools program, for winning a grant from Rising Arts Leaders San Diego to attend the Teaching Artist Institute.

Born in Soweto, Center for World Music distinguished teaching artist Nomsa Burkhardt is an extraordinary South African musician and dancer. She spent her formative years in KwaZulu, Natal, a region famous for its rich Zulu heritage and culture. There, she studied various traditional dance styles with master dancers, such as Indlamu, ukuQhobosha, and ukuSina. After immigrating to Philadelphia, she co-founded the African dance troupe HIMOSHA. Her artistic skills and passion for dance quickly propelled her into serving as both the director and lead choreographer for the troupe for seven years. She collaborated with well-known Philadelphia-based South African multi-instrumentalist and artist Mogauwane Mahloele at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, and at many universities and schools. She also performed and conducted workshops annually at the Philly Dance Africa Project. In 2000 she returned to South Africa to study with the accomplished ethnomusicologist Prof. Meki Nzewi at the University of Pretoria. Upon her return to the USA in 2004, she joined the Grammy-nominated South African band Sharon Katz & The Peace Train. As part of the Peace Train Project at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Nomsa was instrumental in developing a teacher-training program that focused on South African history and conducted a series of educational performances. Nomsa has toured throughout the USA, South Africa, Israel, Italy, and Germany. She is the co-founder of IZINDE, an Afro-fusion band composed of performing artists from around the world.


RALSD LogoUnder the sponsorship of the Center for World Music, Nomsa was selected in September 2017 to participate in the Teaching Artist Institute, a professional development program offered by Arts for Learning San Diego, an affiliate of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. For a working musician who collaborates with schools as a teaching artist, this program is of tremendous value. Nomsa was awarded a Virgil Yalong matching grant from Rising Arts Leaders San Diego to support her participation in the Teaching Artist Institute.


 

Nomsa Burkhardt at Garfield Elementary

Nomsa Burkhardt at Garfield Elementary

Nomsa is a distinguished teaching artist for Center for World Music’s NEA-funded hands-on schools program. Her student-centered curriculum exceeds California arts standards by bringing joy and heartfelt fun into San Diego classrooms, while addressing core learning outcomes. Through the study of the traditional music and dance of South Africa, Nomsa’s classes focus on the importance of history and culture in the creation of music, the use of musical instruments, and the expression of community unity and collaboration through the performing arts. Students learn the geographical origins of musical instruments, increasing their global awareness and providing them with a global context to the music and dance of Zulu and Xhosa cultures. Nomsa integrates the science of making musical instruments in her program, and her students enjoy a diversity of music-making through singing and games that involve stories and simple songs, enhancing the connections to other disciplines such as literacy and math.

World Music in the Schools and the children of San Diego are fortunate to have Nomsa Burkhardt spreading joy and understanding through the traditional music and dance of South Africa.

Maluju – Stop Xenophobia By Nomsa

Video of Nomsa teaching South African Zulu Music and Dance

Ilana Queiroz – Brazilian Capoeira Dance and Music

We are happy to welcome Ilana Queiroz as a teaching artist in the Center’s World Music in the Schools program. Originally from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Ilana is currently teaching capoeira—an art form that combines music, dance, and acrobatics—to second grade students at the San Diego French American School. Having taught since 2000 at more than a dozen schools in the San Diego area, Ilana brings a wealth of teaching experience to World Music in the Schools. Outside of California, Ilana taught Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms in Andalucia, Spain, during the years 2004 and 2005. She participates in the Ginga Mundo Capoeira group, and plays percussion professionally with ensembles in many styles. Her most recent musical project is a duo called Bossa Lounge Project, a fusion of Bossa Nova and contemporary Brazilian music.

Ilana Queiroz 3A trained anthropologist, Ilana has a profound interest in culture. She began teaching capoeira because she noticed that this practice had begun to spread all over the world, but that, in the process, the focus on the history, lyrics, meaning, and purpose of the art form was being lost. Ilana loves to use music and dance as an approach to history, and as an anthropologist, she sees capoeira as an excellent vehicle for teaching inclusion and community involvement. As a mother, she ensures the lessons are accessible by children of all ages and learning styles.

 

Capoeira for me is a complete art. It teaches timing, spatial perception, eye contact, respect, community, and partnership. It teaches children to be courageous and to try new activities in different disciplines. Capoeira encourages movement which allows kids to literally see the world from another perspective—doing cart wheels, hand and head stands.

 

Ilana Queiroz 2

In her experience as a teacher, Ilana finds that capoeira encompasses so many aspects of learning that each child can find a favorite element in the art to focus on. Her capoeira class consists of stretches, warm up (often with games related to the history or movements learned), and technique (kicks, dodges, timing, and dance sequences). Musically, she teaches rhythm and various instruments through capoeira songs. Children learn how to play the agogô, pandeiro, atabaque (drum), reco-reco, caxixi and sometimes the berimbau. Every instrument has a different feel and technique, contributing to distinct musical patterns. The students develop the ability to work in harmony with each other and multitask through capoeira’s style of call-and-response. The lyrics are in Portuguese, so students have a chance to learn songs in a new language, bringing the students a new linguistic experience. Some lyrics are very old and simple, reflecting a certain time in the past, so Ilana uses this opportunity to tell the story about what life was like for these songwriters and dancers. In this way she is able to integrate language, geography, history, and movement into her lessons.

Ilana Queiroz 4Ilana’s teaching philosophy is to facilitate contact with the culture, develop a sense of community, and to encourage familiarity of the capoeira player with his or her own body. She also sees great value in exposure to rhythm, the native language, and different instruments. Most especially, she tries to teach her students that happiness is the fuel for a healthy life.

 

Thai Dancer at Erawan

Traditional Thai Dance Continues at Bangkok Shrine

The popular Erawan shrine in Bangkok was recently the target of a bomb attack, but the performance of classical dance continues. Here’s a thoughtful update on a “day in the life” of a Thai dancer . . .

The crew began their shift. There were four musicians — one on taphon (barrel drum), another on ching (cymbals) and the other two on ranad (Thai xylophone). The dancers also sang along to each song. Their words melted into the Thai orchestra, creating a chanting resonance and sacred ambience befitting the holy shrine

Read the full article, “Dancer in the Light,” in the Bangkok Post.

Bulgarian Dance

The Beauty of Bulgarian Folk Dances

An article in an online fashion journal from Bulgaria, with eleven nice videos of Bulgarian folk dance and—most interesting—captions indicating the complex rhythms of each dance.

Bulgarian folklore dances are unique with their asymmetrical meters, combining “quick” and “slow” beats. . . . These dance rhythms may not agree with the rhythms and meters performed by the musicians.

Read more and view the videos at BGFashion.net.  Can you count the beats?

Moreau Folk Dance

California Statewide Folk Dance Festival, “Dancing in the Park,” in San Diego May 29-31

Join dance lovers from far and near for Dancing in the Park, the California Statewide Folk Dance Festival, May 29-31, in Balboa Park, San Diego.

The festival will start Friday evening at 7 p.m. with a party and introduction of teachers in the ballroom. There will be a Kafana with live music by Dromia in the Recital Hall. An Afterparty will follow at the Folk Dance Center. . . . Yves Moreau, will teach dances from Bulgaria and Richard Powers will teach vintage dances. France Bourque-Moreau will teach a special workshop for teachers. In the evening [on Sunday], we will have an exciting dance party with live music by Eastern Exposure.

For details and a flyer, see the StateWideFolkDance.com website.

Balkan Music and Dance Workshop

Balkan Music and Dance Workshops this Summer

The East European Folklife Center is sponsoring two Balkan music and dance workshops this summer, one in Mendicino Woodlands, CA (June 27-July 4) and one in Iroquois Springs, NY (August 8-15).

Since 1977 the West Coast edition of the EEFC’s Balkan Music & Dance Workshop has been gathering amidst the towering redwoods of the Northern California coast. Each year we welcome new friends along with old, as musicians and dancers and those who love them come together with our extraordinary teaching staff for a memorable week.

Family-friendly; children welcome. Highly recommended!

See the EEFC’s website for details.

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