A Préville In-School Case Study: African Drums & Dance

Working with schools to promote cultural understanding and respect through fun, participatory arts experiences.

Commemorating Black History month with artist, Luc Bambara, and The Lester B. Pearson School Board

Dancer, Musician, Footballer and Cultural Ambassador, Lésouta Luc Bambara, has been sharing his passion for drumming, dancing and African culture in schools throughout Québec for over a decade.

During the month of February, Préville in Schools had the pleasure of presenting Luc to thousands of students in The Lester B. Pearson School Board, as part of their activities to celebrate and commemorate Black History and Culture.

Over the course of the month, Luc visited three schools: John Rennie, Beaconsfield and St. Thomas High School, where he shared a taste of his home culture of Burkina Faso, through his hands-on introduction to traditional African drumming and dancing. Luc has said that you can’t dance like he does without a smile on your face, and it’s true. His enthusiasm is contagious and in each of his 50-minute presentations, the entire auditorium was up on its feet, dancing and singing along.

Luc was accompanied by fellow musicians playing the djembe (a traditional West-African drum), and the balafon (an African xylophone that uses gourds as resonators). They demonstrated the instruments and showed how the musicians communicate with the dancers to indicate when to start, what steps to dance, when to change and when to stop. Then Luc warmly invited “brothers and sisters” from the audience to join him onstage, where they were invited to dance and try out the instruments, as well as being given African names and traditional apparel to wear.

During the performance a slideshow presented photos of Luc’s varied and rich life, as well as maps and images of Burkina Faso–both modern and historical. Luc answered questions and spoke about his experiences, including how an injury halted his soccer career.

Working with Schools

Préville’s school workshops range from interactive performance-based sessions, like this one, to hands-on classes where students create along with the presenters. We offer ready-made 50-minute workshops as well as multi-week recurring sessions. Most of our workshops are also available online which is ideal for schools outside the Montreal area who still wish to experience our workshops.

Please contact us or visit our Préville in Schools webpage for more workshop ideas and to book a workshop for a class or school.

You can also find our listing on ELAN’s Artists Inspire Grants website as our workshops can be covered by ELAN grants.

Be sure to tell your teacher and school administrator friends about our Préville In Schools workshops!

Watch highlights from several African Drumming and Dancing workshops!