Tânia Amaral will demonstrate her “afro-fusion belly dance” at the Vault Café on Feb. 21 and teach workshops at Harbour City Theatre on Feb. 22 and 23. (Photo courtesy iRothemberger)

Tânia Amaral will demonstrate her “afro-fusion belly dance” at the Vault Café on Feb. 21 and teach workshops at Harbour City Theatre on Feb. 22 and 23. (Photo courtesy iRothemberger)

Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Dancers from Mozambique, Rwanda and Cameroon to give demonstrations and lessons

A trio of dancers hailing from across Africa are heading to Nanaimo this week to demonstrate and teach traditional and modern African dance.

Tânia Amaral, originally from Mozambique and now living in Lillooet, will be joined by Isaac Gasangwa of Rwanda and Boris Fotsing Talla of Cameroon for a dance introduction and discussion at the Vault Café on Feb. 21.

The dancers will then teach workshops at Harbour City Theatre over the next two days.

Amaral said the event at the Vault, African Connections, is meant to familiarize the audience with the kinds of dances she, Gasangwa and Fotsing Talla will be teaching over the weekend, but she’s open to a broader discussion as well.

“People can ask us questions about our type of dance, our roots, traditions, any kind of questions that people can have,” she said. “Sometimes people don’t have this kind of contact with people that were born and raised in Africa.”

Gasangwa and Fotsing Talla will both teach afro-beats, as well as afro-fusion hip-hop and ndombolo, respectively.

Amaral will be presenting “afro-fusion belly dance,” a concept of her own design in which she incorporates dance moves, music, clothing and accessories from across the continent.

“Maybe because I was born and raised there I see that we have so much diversity in terms of culture,” she said. “And a lot of times people just see the African continent as one country and I’m trying to show that, no, we are, like, 55 countries and each country has their own ethic groups that sometimes you don’t see so much representation of them.”

Amaral said that by bringing those elements together she hopes to move people to “dig in,” learn about and take an interest in Africa’s distinct populations. She said dance is more about communication than it is about entertainment.

“We have a different way of sharing, a different way of communicating and at the same time we have so many similarities from the north of Africa to South Africa,” Amaral said. “So I think it’s interesting to bring these things together and try to share to the world and say, ‘Listen, we are here and we have so much to show.’”

WHAT’S ON … African Connections at the Vault Café, 499 Wallace St., on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Admission by donation at the door. Classes at Harbour City Theatre, 25 Victoria Rd., on Saturday, Feb. 22 and Sunday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Registration $25 per class, $20 if more than one. Available at www.crimsoncoastdance.org.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously Monday to pass a bylaw establishing the foundation for a new downtown business improvement association. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo adopts bylaw to create new downtown business improvement association

Chamber of commerce says next steps will be a board of directors and five-year strategic plan

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Most Read