Féraba: African Tap Dance Duet – performance at the St. George Library
Saturday, April 18, 2009 the St. George Library on Staten Island joined in the 6th annual Immigrant Heritage Week Celebration (April 17- 23), featuring tap and African dance to African drumming and percussion. The duo of Irene Koloseus and Andy Algire entertained, educated and engaged a lively audience of adults and children about the art of American tap dance and traditional West African music. Irene Koloseus and Andy Algire played the Balafon, a xylophone type of instrument closely associated with Guinea and with Senegal and The Gambia. Ms. Koloseus challenged Mr. Algire in a competition to follow the beat of her tap dance steps by him playing the Balafon. The audience enthusiastically clapped to the beat of tap and Balafon. Children eagerly participated by shaking the Shakere, an African rattle made of the Calabash gourd wrapped with a netting of beads. The audience was also introduced to the sounds of Doon Doon, (also known as Dunun dundun, doundoun, or djun-djun), African bass drums. ? Balafon ? Doun Doun Féraba was founded in New York City in 1995, through the collective creative vision of Irene Koloseus and world-renowned master balafonist Abou Sylla from Guinea, West Africa. Féraba combines the traditional sounds and movements of West Africa with the American artistic forms of tap dance and jazz in a unique and exciting way. Irene Koloseus, (Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer) is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and instructor, who began her career in her native Austria. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Féraba-African Rhythm Tap Company. Ms. Koloseus performs with Féraba throughout the U.S., bringing the thoroughly authentic and completely unique global flavor and energy of the group into many communities. As a teaching artist, she has designed curricular based movement and music residencies for students of all ages and abilities and has conducted staff development programs for educators. Andy Algire was born in Wausau, Wisconsin. He pursued a degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, with an emphasis on drum set and Jazz Studies. Andy Algire is a drummer, percussionist, balafonist and pianist specializing in jazz and African music, and is currently the Musical Director of Féraba. The performance was a fitting tribute to the many contribution immigrants bring to New York City in exposing the audience to different cultures and pointing to how diversity enriches one’s life. Don’t miss out on the other performances throughout the week. Check the calendar of the Immigrant Heritage Week events.