“Karibu Tena” Means Welcome Back!

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They Dance For Rain in partnership with Moving Arts Exchange (MAX) presents ‘Karibu Tena’ means ‘Welcome Back’ a fun-filled afternoon of dance and visual arts, fundraising, and community gathering on April 14th, 2019 from 12 noon to 4pm at the MAX space on 325 Stockbridge Rd in Great Barrington.
They Dance For Rain is a dance-making project that works with arts-for-social-change organizations and individual artists in urban Nairobi, Kenya.  They bring Tap shoes and the art form of Tap Dance to people with an interest and need for this unique kind of artistic self-expression. In this area of the world, Tap Dance is still quite young and the eagerness to learn it is immense. They also seek to bring visibility to an otherwise underrepresented population of dancers and slum dwellers through photography and film, and the sharing of photographic skills and equipment.  Through this continuing global exchange of artistic dialogue They Dance For Rain inspires a new generation of artists and builds robust relationships across platforms with established artists.
The event will feature an exhibit of select pieces from Monika’s Pizzichemi’s photographic portfolio documenting this work that she collaborated on and co-directed with action-based dance artist Stefanie Weber in Nairobi, Kenya from 2013-2016. The project They Dance For Rain is returning to the process with a residency in Nairobi in May.
The event on April 14th will also feature a community Tap Dance workshop with Weber and associate artist-educator JoJo McDonald at 1p, a workshop focused on learning an East African tribal dance of the Luo (Kenyan tribe) called “Kalapapla” with live drumming accompaniment led by Lara Gonzalez of Marafanyi Drum Dance and Song at 2p, and will culminate at 3p with a short presentation on the project and a premiere performance of the interactive theatrical spectacleThe Mad Libs Maasai Market Exploit which encourages guests to purchase the missing words from a handful of original comedy sketch scripts (one written by Nutshell Playhouse’s Don Jordan!) that will be acted out by a cast of actors including Diedre Bollinger and Jojo McDonald with Liv Cummins, Sarah Mitchell, and Sandy McKnight of Saturday Night Liv.
The event will also serve as a grand-reveal of “Flight Of Steps” by Diane Firtell, the newly painted stairwell which leads to the upper workshop room of the MAX studio. 
The partner in this event, Moving Arts Exchange (MAX), was created in 2016 by dancers Andrea Blacklow and Ellen Gorman and is dedicated to deepening personal connections and enhancing the vibrancy of our community through inclusive dance education for all ages. MAX also serves as a performance space for teens and local artists to share original work. On the 14th, MAX’s Teen dance company will serve as ambassadors for the Kalapapla workshop and will assist with guiding community members through the dance.
Doors open at 12noon with a $10 suggested donation. Children under 12 are free. Tap shoes for the 1p workshop can be reserved by contacting TD4Rkenya@gmail.com. Drummers interested in accompanying dancers for Kalapapla please contact Stefanie.lynx.weber@gmail.com

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