AMRA & EDUCATION
"AMRA in Education is committed to the promotion of cultural arts and education through the media of dance, song, music, drama, dance-drama, storytelling, Poetry and visual arts"
All workshop are caring and non-confrontational, bound up with the creative and the artistic nature of the individual at the one end and at the other the rich cultural diversity of a multi-faceted society housing an array of experiences, cultures and aspirations.
AMRA has created our own teaching methodology. Combining entertainment, education and the added excitement of live drumming.
The effectiveness of our presentation, teaching methods and the range of subjects matters utilised, embraces a genuine wholistic
The inspiration and guiding force is Angie Amra Anderson, an award-winning pioneering artists. Lecturer in World Performance at East 15 Acting School, University of Essex, she has pioneered African Dance in the UK for over 30 years.
The pleasure of watching AMRA in performance can be greatly enhanced by participation in an AMRA workshop. Both drumming and dancing can be learned and AMRA workshops are suitable for complete beginners as well as more advanced students.
The dances are energetic, graceful and enormously expressive; reflecting the richness of the cultures from which they originate. Each dance has a definite theme and protrays aspects of African and/or Caribbean life; courtship, rites of passage, trading, harvest, war to name a few.
Dances are taught movement by movement.
Once several movements and postures have been achieved, small sequences are practiced until the entire sequence of the dance is completed. The movements of the dance are determined by the rhythm of the drum and thus participation increases musical as well as movement skills.
Through gaining competence in this artform students also increase their co-ordination, concentration, strength, flexibility, grace, rhythm sense and achieve mental and physical discipline. As the dances are essentially `social' in nature, they also learn how to work in conjuction with others as part increasing their self-confidence.
The substance of the drumming programme is the traditional drum music produced by the drum orchestra to complement the dances referred to above, as well as pieces which exist independently as musical statements. Caribbean drumming, which has its origins in Africa, can also be taught. AMRA brings the added excitment of Brazilian samba drumming to its repertoire.
The syncopated rhythms are controlled by the Lead drummer, which `speaks' in an unique drum language, which once learned, can be used to learn new peices very quickly. The drum rhythms have a particular relevence to modern Western music, and have been identified as constituting the `roots' of rhythm and blues as well as much of `rock' and `pop' music.
Drum language is an oral rather than written tradition, for this reason, as well as their own inherent power, students find the drum rhythms particularly compelling, and the programme thus imparts a strong basis of rhythm sense, co-ordination, concentration and co-operation.