The centerpiece of the San Francisco African Dance and Drum Festival is a big fun concert on Saturday at the African American Art & Culture Complex's Buriel Clay Theater. The show features several professional African dance companies and the warm presence of organizer Sia Amma of Global Women Intact, a longtime anti-female-circumcision group. (All proceeds from the festival go to GWI's efforts, which include buying uniforms and books for girls who wouldn't otherwise get to go to school. You can have your Giants, we say GO AMMA!) However, beyond all that gala activity, the festival is dedicated to you, you, you, and your once-in-a-lifetime chance to dance and drum with African master teachers. A full dozen dance instructors hold tons of classes in Guinea, Sabar, Kutiro, Congolese, Dunun, and Mali styles of dance. A further 13 drummers teach Djembe (of course!) as well as Faly Syedi and Dunun styles plus a special procession-drum course. So see the concert, but don't think of the festival as a spectator sport.
Nov. 10-14, 2010