Monday, February 23, 2009

Wulaba Rocks the 1980 Olympic Arena for the 2009 Winter Empire States Games Opening Ceremonies

We had a one and a half minutes of fame in front of thousands of people (our biggest audience so far) last Friday February 20th for the opening ceremonies of the 2009 Winter Empire States Games. Mimi Frantz, one of our African dancers who happens also to be a skating coach, choreographed the number on ice. First Lost Dog, a local band (with Nick Loewy, who also plays with Wulaba from time to time), began the night with the Northwood Women's Hockey players performing their high spirited number. Then we transitioned to figure skating where Wulaba played Maraka Don. The Olympic Skating School skaters performed an exciting number. On hand for Wulaba were James Gann, Karen Kan, Candy Merritt and Dusty Grant (on Dununs). We were "amplified" for the first time ever in the large 1980 arena. Despite the large crowds, Wulaba wasn't too nervous. The spotlight was pretty interesting - but we were in our own little worlds drumming our hearts out for one and a half minutes! After we were done, Lost Dog started up again for the speed skaters that came out and did their number. We finished off with a "Jam" session at the end. All in all, we had a really fun time! Hey, and one of our other dancers, Jackie, was actually part of the camera crew! Hope she got us on film!

More Photos of Wulaba and Soma Beats from the Rotary Variety Show

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wulaba Drum and Soma Beats performs for Saranac Lake Rotary Show

Wulaba and Soma Beats performed for the first time at the 2009 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Variety show hosted by the Saranac Lake Rotary. We were the first professional group to perform after the "court" performed and we got everyone up off their seats and clapping or dancing to the beat of the drum! The teenagers who were performing their own dance number quickly jumped out of their seats to dance along with Soma Beats. Wulaba performed Kakilambe as the Soma Beats dancers danced up to the stage in the 624 capacity seating-only event. We then debuted BAO. The stage was narrow because of the equipment out at the front so the dunun sticks actually hit some of our dancers during Bao! Luckily no one was injured :o) Then Johnna MacDougall, choreographer, joined the dancers to do DJOLE. The energy was HIGH and it set the stage for great performances that night including Inisheer and the Dustbunnies and Long Hairs, two other professional groups. All in all, we had a fabulous time! We are just waiting for copies of the video!