Thursday, 10 May 2007

dancing way of life

I've referred to this before. But since dance is everywhere, I can't help but do it again. Though Eleni's special insight is a mine for understanding and depth, you can see it on every street corner, on the beaches, in the classroom. It seems like Senegalese bodies are bursting with unrestrainable dance. Not only that... They are GOOD at it, and I mean really good. Its a feeling and ear for rhythm that lets them penetrate the polyrhythmic music like a knife warm butter; straight to the bottom of things. No movement seems out of place, calculated, or unnatural to the naked eye. Attempts to explain abound, and border on racist at times. The one I like the best however is that they grow up with it. Because music is everywhere. Was just reading the bio of the Baobab Orchestra, which said something about the first president Leopold Sedar Senghor, poet and cultural connoisseur, under who's reign art flourished (god I know little about the history of the country I'm in). Is it him or how far does this rhythmic upbringing go back?

Anyway, obviously loving the insights Eleni has in store for me. Exceptional experience with the dance she is studying with. A highly pregnant women who lives in a compound of about 18, all of whom do nothing and sometimes dance (More on that later). It's more like a hang-out den, punctuated by wild flying of arms and some high-pitched, loud laughs at the inability of the toubab to learn the steps. Those are themselves a copy from the music video's, which makes me wonder how connected they really are to traditional dance. But since Eleni keeps on talking about sexual dances & the man/women divide (basically women dance in private, men think they are showing off - and sometimes i tend to agree with them) and seeing the similarity between them and circumcision dances we saw in Sine Saloum (photo to follow), I don't really doubt it. Again its a question of untrained eye witnessing something incredible and new. Check out the video to convince yourself (eleni on the right):

Obviously became the centre of attention as unmarried toubab. Shame really. Everybody! wants out of the country, whatever way they can. (More on that later too)

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