Celebrate Heritage! Celebrate Life! With Elegba Folklore Society
The programs listed here can be presented as given, combined or as extracts as based on the research. Prices depend on these choices. Bibliographies and study guides are available for some programs.
No matter your age or background, the spirit and the openness of the Elegba Folklore Society will enchant you. In a way that perhaps you will expect or in a way that is totally spontaneous, your energy will blend beautifully with ours, closing the gap between performer and audience. Via our African dancers, musicians, storytellers and masquerades, participants find themselves swept up in a universal cultural energy that links them with the global significance of this timeless art form.
African Dance, Music & the Oral Tradition (Concert)
Dancers, drummers, singers focus primarily on West Africa to spur an evolving understanding of the cultural and historical underpinnings of the dance and its music while showing its relationship to the United States. 30 – 90 minutes.
“Your group is multi-talented, and our audience was both educated and entertained
by your presentation. You energized and enlightened us.”
“I have seen and worked with many groups, and your company ranks very high.
It is, I feel, the best organization of its kind in the state.”
“Your performance at the 20th Annual Afrikan American Festival was amazing.”
“Thank you and the members of Elegba Folklore Society for coming to our city to help celebrate something much larger than ourselves.”
African Traditions in Virginia (Or in Your State; dance theatre)
This dance theatre presentation is about lifestyles, folklore, language, family, spirit and more as told in music, dance and stories. It is a forum for diverse audiences to develop a greater appreciation for heritage. If you find something that is entertaining (funny), educational, culturally enriching and poetic, you better buy it. 90 minutes with an intermission.
“Wow! We laughed and learned in the same moment. Your performers brought us
right into the story.”
African American Reflections on The Civil War (dance theatre) Expect the “Wow” factor as you witness the lives and roles of Africans and Africa’s descendants unfold in this drama that informs and empowers. Music and dance punctuate the stories of the spirit and magic of Africa, conditions of enslavement, resistance, the Black Dispatches, United States Colored Troops, women in support, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. 90 minutes with an intermission. An ensemble reading is also available. Comments from the Audience: “Very thorough.” “It was amazing how so much information could be presented in 90 minutes. I and my grandchildren were engaged throughout.”
To Be Sold (dance theatre)
Music and dance combine with the authentic narratives of enslaved Africans and the historical record to tell a compelling story. A dance theatre piece, To Be Sold ponders the legacy of bondage through poignant artistic expressions of survival and triumph. 90 minutes with an intermission. A one-woman piece is also available.
“It captures the audience and does not let go until the last account has been read and the last song has been sung…. The cast succeeds in propelling the audience into a sense of first hand experience of history in the making.”
Vocal and instrumental music from the African Diaspora create an elegant and earthy mood for any occasion. 30 – 60 minutes.
“Beautiful. Just beautiful. Our audience was engaged, yet not over-powered by your songs that that added warmth and excitement to our reception.”
Timeless Journeys (performance-lecture)
This interactive performance-lecture takes audiences on a journey over time and continent. Themes include ancestral homage, perceptions of culture, the legacy of bondage, universal spirit, the Caribbean influence and celebration. 60 minutes.
Dance with Me, Sing with Me (performance-lecture)
This performance-lecture is an interactive program that relates aspects of Africa’s culture and customs with life in the United States. By establishing these cultural linkages, audiences achieve a higher level of appreciation for diversity and shared traditions. 45 – 60 minutes.
“Thank you for informing us and involving us in this delightful presentation.”
The Talking Gourd (performance-conversation)
This interactive solo presentation works through oral histories, music and ceremony to culturally enrich audiences regarding Mother Africa’s global contributions and influence.
45 – 60 minutes.
“I found it interesting that many styles of architecture, medicine and other sciences, economics, art and many other disciplines were originated in Africa.”
“She was very engaging. I could have sat and listened to her all day.”
Feel the Beat (workshop)
In a West African dance workshop, participants will throw off their shoes and socks and immerse themselves in the body-mind-spirit of the experience. Enjoy dancing, learn dance technique and cultural traditions, feel good inside and out! Led by dancer/folklorist and drummers. Wear loose-fitting clothing, and be prepared to dance in bare feet.
“Our dance and cultural lesson has been the highlight of this academic year.”
Feel the Beat (workshop)
In a West African drum workshop, participants will put their hands on the skin and immerse themselves in the body-mind-spirit of the experience. Enjoy drumming, learn percussion technique and cultural traditions, feel good inside and out! Focus is the djembe orchestra of the Manding.
“This class helped me physically, mentally and most especially spiritually.”
The Talking Drum (spoken word & music concert)
This lively delivery of African and African American folktales and narratives combine with vocal and instrumental music to engage audiences along a rhythmic journey over continents and through time. 30 – 90 minutes.
“Kept everyone’s attention.”
“The delivery brought out stories audience members had to tell. Everybody felt good.”
Stories from the Vine (spoken word concert)
African and African American folktales and narratives entertain and inform, sharing ideas, cultural heritage and lessons. Everybody becomes a part of the telling! 30 – 60 minutes.
Presenter & Audience Comments:
“Fabulous storyteller — very entertaining and engaging!”
“Appreciated the energy, the enthusiasm and the audience participation.”
“I liked the balance between the serious and the silly.”
Tell It Like It Is (spoken word workshop)
The spoken word is a powerful communication tool. Breathing sentiment in the air is an absolute affirmation of intent. Narration tools enable the speaker to give dimension to the words that convey intent. Through this intensive, speakers learn about narration tools and become empowered to use them to better understand and tell their story. Handouts will be distributed.
“These are exciting and energetic performers who use performance as a model
when exploring the process of achieving in that art form.”
The Elder’s Knee (Workshop)
This session for teachers or for adults who mentor youth is designed to accompany one of the other programs listed here and/or to provide background information and teaching tools that can enhance classroom experiences and aid sustainability in the days and weeks after the Society’s appearance or as a staff development opportunity.
“Even though I am not an artist myself, this session had useful concepts and methods.”
Auditions to Join our Performance Company are Open.