Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community
Baobab Tree Drum · Dance · Society, is an umbrella organization which encompasses an adult performance group Akpokli Drum and Dance Society, a youth performance group Baobab Youth Performers; as well as outreach programs and cross-cultural education initiatives.
We offer arts programming for ages 7 through adult. Classes in West African drumming, dancing and singing bring together people of all ages and backgrounds in the Ottawa community. Through social events, performances, and educational workshops, participants learn about themselves and their place in the world. Drumming provides confidence, self-esteem, physical workout and community building. Baobab Tree is a socially responsible organization that gives back to the African community by raising funds and awareness for the village of Dagbamete in Ghana. Established in 1995, this multi-branched organization has reached thousands of people in the Ottawa and surrounding area, while affecting lives throughout the world.
The music that Baobab Youth and Akpokli perform is recreational material from Ghana. That is, music that is performed at a variety of social events such as weddings, funerals, wake-keepings, baby-naming ceremonies and other community events. Emphasis is on individual expression within a framework of rhythm, song and movement. The students learn the music and dance aurally, as it is learned in Ghana. Much emphasis is placed on language. The rhythms of the drums are often spoken phrases, with the best of the lead drummers speaking proverbs. In Ghana, drummers are traditionally expected to be the keepers of history, and share it through the playing of the instruments. The groups sing in the Ewe and Ga languages of Ghana.