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“The Talking Drum” – Connections Between Vernacular Jazz and African Roots w/ Breai Michele
October 31, 2020 @ 1:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
This event is organized by Wednesday Night Hop and The Breakaway.
From Stomp Offs and Break Steps to Swing Outs and Shouts, Jazz Movement makes the voice of the drum visible. In this 2 hour intensive, we will study the basic, recurring patterns in Guinean dance which follow the voice of the drum. Dancers will gain greater dexterity of movement, a keener understanding of Guinean drum patterns, and increased clarity about the connection between Vernacular Jazz Dance and its African Roots.
Breai Michele is a Baltimore native, community activist, teacher, dancer, and cultural counselor. A Harvard graduate, Breai’s Master’s thesis explored the role of Hip-Hop as a religious and moral touchstone for African American youth. Since 2001, she has conducted research into the connection between mental health in young women and exposure to the norms espoused by popular culture. With these findings, Breai designed Moving History, an arts-integrated, kinetic curriculum which teaches American history with a focus on the contributions of African Americans. Her work has been supported by grants from Teaching Tolerance, the Frankie Manning Foundation, and the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund which awarded Moving History $179,000 in 2018. Moving History is nested under the umbrella organization, Guardian Dance Company, of which Breai is the founding director. Guardian is committed to practicing, performing and passing on African American history and culture through movement. In the confirmation of its vision, Guardian trained students who won 1st place in the International Lindy Hop Championship’s Juniors Division in 2019, and performed for the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. Breai is the proud mother of three.