Gambian Dance Retreat 2018

10 - 18th February 2018

included in the price

* accommodation including breakfast
* excursions to the batik centre, the Gambia museum & Lamin Lodge
* classes with Jolla, Karondinka and Wollof tribal dancers, including live percussion
* performance opportunity with the Jolla, Karondinka and Wollof dancers

not included in the price

* flight (best flight option: Thomas Cook 9 - 19th February, direct flight from Gatwick)
* lunch and dinners
* costs for fabrics and tailor, to get skirt made for performances (optional)

In February/March 2017 I had the honour to work with Gambian percussionist Musa Mboob. As part of the Arts Council we travelled with a group of UK based musicans to work with 3 tribes: learning their music and rhythms and learning their dance moves in a project called The Bollo Project, meaning exchange. For me, this was a life changing experience. I kept thinking: I wish this could be available to the public! This is such a rich experience that should be available to others also. So Musa and I started talking about creating this retreat for you all. We will learn dances of the Jolla, Karondinka and Wollof tribe, we will learn their songs and we will even have an opportunity to dance side by side with them. We also have a few excursions planned to give all participants the full experience of The Gambia. There will be plenty of down time planned also for people to enjoy The Smiling Coast Of Africa or relax at the swimming pool of the hotel. The Gambia with its thriving culture is THE place to be for your 2018 dance holiday plans!
— Hilde Cannoodt

The Hotel

Just minutes walk from Kotu Beach in Serrakunda, Badala Park Hotel is a gem of a place. Lovely en suite rooms, breakfast included, good wifi connection, swimming pool, air conditioning, daily house keeping, garden, breakfast possibility on the beach,

The Workshops

The workshops will be held in one of the conference rooms inside the hotel. We have chosen the hotel as a location for the workshops to make it easily accessible for all participants. Workshops will be led by different tribes on different days. The three tribes we will be studying with are the Jolla, Karondinka and Wollof tribe, each with their own customs, songs, dances and traditions. We will learn about the bigger context in which the songs were created, we will learn the meaning of the songs and we will learn how these songs go with the dance moves and rhythms. We will work towards learning 5 different dances: 2 of the Jolla, 2 of the Karondinka and 1 of the Wollof dances. There will be an opportunity to perform with the Jolla and Karondinka tribe on Saturday the 17th February as well as perform with the Wollof tribe on Friday the 16th February, should participants want to be part of that experience.

The Excursions

batik.JPG

We will have 2 excursions planned: one excursion will be on the Monday 12th February to the batik and fabric centre, where we will learn how fabrics are traditionally dyed in The Gambia. For those that wish to perform with the Jolla and Karondinka tribe, you can purchase your favourite fabrics here. We will go to the tailor that afternoon for measurements, so that participants can get their own custom made outfits for the show.

We will have another excursion on the Thursday 15th February, where we will visit the museum in Banjul City where we will learn about the Gambia and its history and culture.

Schedule

Below is a summarised schedule of the retreat. A more detailed schedule will be available upon arrival or by request.

Friday 9th February
suggested arrival of all participants. Airport pick up.
evening: exploration Senegambia

Saturday 10th February
11am - 1pm 1st session with the Jolla dancers
4pm - 6pm 2nd session with the Jolla dancers
9pm evening entertainment at Senegambia

Sunday 11th February
11am - 1pm 3rd session with the Jolla dancers

Monday 12th February
excursion to the batik centres (option to purchase fabrics and go to tailor to have skirt designed)
evening dinner: performance of the Jolla dancers at Baobab hotel

Tuesday 13th February
11am - 1pm 1st session with the Karondinka dancers
1pm - 4pm break
4pm - 6pm 2nd session with the Karondinka dancers

Wednesday 14th February
free time until 4pm
4pm - 6pm 3rd session with the Karondinka dancers

Thursday 15th February
excursion to the museum in Banjul

Friday 16th February
11am - 1pm 1st session with the Wollof dancers
3pm - 5pm 2nd session with the Wollow dancers
evening: Wollof street performance

Saturday 17th February
12pm - 3pm rehearsal for Jolla and Karondinka performance
8pm performance with Jolla and Karondinka dancers and musicians

Sunday 18th February
beach day

Monday 19th February
suggested return date for UK participants (via Thomas Cook - direct flight to Gatwick Airport)
 

Fee

included in the price
* accommodation at Badala Park Hotel, including breakfast
* excursions to the batik centre, the Gambia museum & Lamin Lodge
* classes with Jolla, Karondinka and Wollof tribal dancers, including live percussion
* performance opportunity with the Jolla, Karondinka and Wollof dancers

not included in the price
* flight (best flight option: Thomas Cook 9 - 19th February, direct flight from Gatwick)
* lunch and dinners
* costs for fabrics and tailor, to get skirt made for performances (optional) - prices vary around £10 - £15

early bird discount until 15th September! (we need to book hotels well in advance, hence why we need to know numbers as early as possible)
Early bird discount: £575 - payment in instalments is possible!

After 15th September: £635

Bookings

please visit our bookings page and fill in our booking form. Information on how to make your payment will be sent to you via email after we receive the booking form.

Flights

If you are travelling from the UK, the best flight option is Thomas Cook, flying on the Friday the 9th February and returning on Monday the 19th February. Currently flights are around £335 for a non stop flight from Gatwick airport to The Gambia. Participants are responsible to book for their own flights.

Health and Insurance

Participants are required to be in good health for physical activity in a warm environment. If in doubt, please contact your GP. Participants are responsible to get all vaccinations sorted before their trip, including malaria tablets. Please speak to your GP at least 6 weeks prior to your trip to make sure you are covered. Participants are responsible for their own travel insurance as well.