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Interview With Lamine Thiam

(Film)
Interview With Lamine Thiam
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Lamine Thiam speaks with Carolyn Webb about being born in Senegal in 1972; his family life as a child in Dakar; first noticing dance at the age of five; the cultural traditions involving dance and music including baptisms, weddings, and family gatherings; the naming ceremony (baptism) being an all day party; being raised by his parents in separate homes; being encouraged by his brother, a professional dancer; studying at the Manhattan Dance School at age 15; how he was taught to be a professional dancer, learning the Sabar, and the difference between the Sabar dance at school for entertainment and in ceremonies; how dancing and drumming combine into one and the relationship between them; drums and drumming conversations; singing the song on his answering machine and how singing is a big part of the African dance tradition; discussion of a circumcision ceremony and the dances accompanying this ceremony; being from a family of Griots (West African historians/storytellers); a typical day at dance rehearsal as a 15 year old at the Manhattan Dance School and the Conservatory [Conservatoire National d'Arte Dramatique du Sénégal]; being in a professional dance company at the age of 18 and dancing with various companies; moving to the United States in 1993 and getting married; finding African Dance in upstate New York where he taught; taking class and meeting Djoniba [Mouflet] at Fareta; teaching at Fareta, Danspace, and Djoniba Dance and Drum Centre; explaining the difference between African drumming and dancing rhythms (Sabar, Djembe, and Kutiro); how the body is used in African dance, and the difference between ballet and African dance; the importance of dancing for health and well-being; Thiam inviting interested people to take one of his African dance Kumbe classes; creating a dance company in 1994 named Bousso African Dance and Drum Ensemble; acting in the movie Amistad and auditioning with Debbie Allen; comparing dancers from Africa to dancers from the U.S.; why he left New York; the ideal weather conditions for him; how difficult it is to be a dancer; how to be a good dancer; and his wish for preserving African Dance.
Statement of Responsibility: conducted by Carolyn Webb
Title: Interview with Lamine Thiam
Country of Producing Entity: U.S
Characteristics: 1 streaming video file (93 min.) : sound, color.
video file, streaming, H.264, rda
digital, stereo
Content Type: two-dimensional moving image
Media Type: computer
Carrier Type: online resource
Notes: This interview was made possible by the cooperation of The Dance Oral History Project, and Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library
Interview with Lamine Thiam conducted by Carolyn Webb on May 23, 2013 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City as part of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division's Oral History Project
Widescreen
Restrictions on Access: Patrons can access streaming video files online
Credits: Videography production, François Bernadi.
Performers: Interviewee, Lamine Thiam.
Event: Videotaped during interview at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, N.Y. on 2013 May 23
Summary: Lamine Thiam speaks with Carolyn Webb about being born in Senegal in 1972; his family life as a child in Dakar; first noticing dance at the age of five; the cultural traditions involving dance and music including baptisms, weddings, and family gatherings; the naming ceremony (baptism) being an all day party; being raised by his parents in separate homes; being encouraged by his brother, a professional dancer; studying at the Manhattan Dance School at age 15; how he was taught to be a professional dancer, learning the Sabar, and the difference between the Sabar dance at school for entertainment and in ceremonies; how dancing and drumming combine into one and the relationship between them; drums and drumming conversations; singing the song on his answering machine and how singing is a big part of the African dance tradition; discussion of a circumcision ceremony and the dances accompanying this ceremony; being from a family of Griots (West African historians/storytellers); a typical day at dance rehearsal as a 15 year old at the Manhattan Dance School and the Conservatory [Conservatoire National d'Arte Dramatique du Sénégal]; being in a professional dance company at the age of 18 and dancing with various companies; moving to the United States in 1993 and getting married; finding African Dance in upstate New York where he taught; taking class and meeting Djoniba [Mouflet] at Fareta; teaching at Fareta, Danspace, and Djoniba Dance and Drum Centre; explaining the difference between African drumming and dancing rhythms (Sabar, Djembe, and Kutiro); how the body is used in African dance, and the difference between ballet and African dance; the importance of dancing for health and well-being; Thiam inviting interested people to take one of his African dance Kumbe classes; creating a dance company in 1994 named Bousso African Dance and Drum Ensemble; acting in the movie Amistad and auditioning with Debbie Allen; comparing dancers from Africa to dancers from the U.S.; why he left New York; the ideal weather conditions for him; how difficult it is to be a dancer; how to be a good dancer; and his wish for preserving African Dance.
Funding Information: The Dance Division gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Jerome Robbins Foundation
The assistance of the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts is gratefully acknowledged
This recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
Subject Headings: Music Africa, West Drum Africa, West Drum Performance Africa, West Dance Africa, West Mouflet, A. Djoniba, 1961- Thiam, Lamine
Genre/Form: Filmed interviews
Video
Dance
Topical Term: Music
Drum
Drum
Dance
Donor Note: Oral History Project Video Series
Research Call Number: *MGZIDF 1336
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