Listening room turns into an African village
Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2016
LaGRANGE — Pure Life Studios opens its listening room to the rhythms of a traditional Guinea village this weekend.
Ten Blocks Away, in a special event with Jeen Rooks and Carol Sullivan, hosts an evening of African drumming and dance on Saturday. The evening will be presented in two consecutive sessions.
The dance session will teach a traditional Southeast Guinea dance called Kuku. This popular rhythm was traditionally played as the women of the village were returning with their nets from fishing; however, it is currently and typically played at festivals.
The concert session will be performed by the seven-piece, Carrollton-based drumming group Ten Blocks Away. Rooks and Sullivan, drummers and professional dancers with the group, will continue to lead with the dance traditions of West Africa throughout the night.
Rooks also holds a bachelors in kinesiology from Auburn University and is currently studying to become a chiropractor. Sullivan holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Indiana University where her studies focused on the practice of Guinean dance and drumming in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. She also earned a bachelor of arts degree in dance studies from the University of South Florida.
Tom Harris, founder of Ten Blocks Away, has a bachelors degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling from Florida State University. He works as a therapeutic drumming instructor at Youth Villages at Inner Harbor in Carrollton.
Additionally, Harris teaches groups to build djembes, a decorative hand drum that originated in West Africa, and he makes a weekly trip to LaGrange to teach West African drumming to a group called Chattahoochee Rhythm Keepers that meet on Wednesday evening at Pure Life Studios. Harris plans on adding a beginners drumming class beginning the end of August.
“The evening brings laughter and joy to everyone,” said Maggie McDonald, owner of Pure Life Studios. “Jeen and Carol teach with such a carefree spirit and Tom brings such electrifying energy to the rhythms it is impossible to keep still. Whether you are there to dance or just listen the evening is energizing.”
An early dance session is 6 to 7:30 p.m. with a 5:30 p.m. registration and costs $30. The drumming session is 8 to 10 p.m. and costs $10. The whole evening goes from 6 to 10 p.m. with both dance class and drumming and is $25.
Pure Life Studios, an acoustic listening room, is located at 206 Clark St. in LaGrange. For more information about this and upcoming concerts visit Pure Life Studios on Facebook, contact Maggie McDonald by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out www.purelifelagrange.com, To register for the beginners drumming class email email@example.com, or visit https://mindfulx.wordpress.com/ for information.