Calling All Drums

Greetings Zimfest community,
A few quick messages from your Zimfest 2018 organizing committee:

  • As always, we are in need of hand drums – Zimbabwean style ngoma, congas or similar ones – for our drumming classes. Please let us know whether you can lend one or more by writing teachers{at}zimfest{dot}org or just bring them to the Registration desk Thursday Aug. 9 at the festival. We promise to take good care of them for the weekend!
  • For several years we have been racking our brains over how to organize the seating in the concert hall to provide both a dancing space and a sitting space with a view of the performers. It has been difficult during prior festivals for those who want to sit during the performances to actually see them, and we want to do better about this. Please spend a few minutes thinking about the problem and respond to this post with any creative ideas: write 2018{at}zimfest{dot}org.
  • Did you know Zimfest is run mostly by volunteers?  Yes!  It’s folks like you and me, lovers of Zimbabwean music, who share the experience of both ‘working’ the festival and ‘attending’! How can you help? Sign up NOW at the Volunteer Signup page to help with festival tasks!

Tatenda! Thank you! 
Zimfest 2018 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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8 Comments on “Calling All Drums

  1. Adrienne says:

    Idea about concert hall dancing v seating challenge: have dancing in the back or sides of the hall, not the front.

  2. Betty Weiss says:

    Dancers (and others standing near the stage) are often there because they want to be close to the musicians, to see their expressions, watch their sticking, hosho styles and mbira interplay. I would suggest splitting the room so that one entire side will be chairs, and the other side be open floor. Maybe have a place in the back of the room for people who mostly plan to dance to safely leave their belongings, so they don’t leave them at seats that others could use.

  3. Becca Moeller says:

    As a performer, the shows we do with people responding to the music by dancing and participating feed us as performers with their energy. It’s always a better show. That doesn’t happen in the same with with folks just watching. So please don’t put the dancers in the back.

  4. Catherine Hunziker says:

    I would suggest portable bleachers, or platform with chairs.. either side, or behind… so they can see over the dancers.

    • Claire Jones says:

      WOU has said no to portable bleachers, concerned for their floor. In part, this is why we are asking for your ideas!

  5. Larry Israel says:

    I agree with what Betty said about splitting the room (and the rest of her comment). I have further suggestions about configurations to implement that. Chairs in the seating area need to be placed all the way up to the stage, with space left only to sit down in the front row. Otherwise, if any space allows them to do so, people will stand (and/or dance) in front of those who are seated. Also, in the front of the concert hall only (not further back), it would be best if the seated portion takes more than half the width of the room, and the division is then angled, slightly diagonally on the edge of the seating area as you move toward then rear, to enable those seated on the edge (beside dancers) to see all the performers, so they are not trying to (impossibly) look over dancers to see some performers (even near the middle of the stage). In other words, there would be more chairs in the first few rows in front, and progressively fewer chairs per row as you move back. Another alternative arrangement would be a trapezoildal seating area,again with more chairs in front rows than rear rows, again starting right in front of the stage, but this time in the middle width-wise and angling on both sides, with dance space surrounding on both the left and right (equally) and also behind the seating area. Good idea, to somehow encourage people who are won’t be sitting much to not hold seats with their stuff. Leave what you can in your room, keep it with you as you dance, or put it somewhere out of the way, More chairs will be left for you and others when you want to sit down.

  6. Kurai says:

    Thanks Betty Weiss and Larry Israel for having such a brilliant idea of room splitting. I take it as the ultimate solution since there is a limitation on what we can do with what we have.

  7. John Hatten says:

    Thank you Becca for stating it most clearly – the connection between musicians and dancers builds energy and excitement. I love the bleachers idea as we had at Reid so long ago, but without WOU on board, that won’t work. In Olympia, we danced on the huge stage. It may be logistically too challenging, but if the bands played in the middle (keeping a corridor for performers and instruments to get on and off stage, then dancers could be in front and seats could be in back, or vise versa. Or there could be seats (or bleachers?) on the stage.

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