African Drumming and Fed Square

djembe

Federation Square is one of my favorite places in Melbourne.

Fed Square is a large civic and cultural center containing cafes, restaurants, and museums, and shops.  It’s also home to many events such as book markets, poetry readings, wine tastings, and cultural festivals. The best part is that almost all the events at Fed Square are free.  Every Wednesday through December 18, Fed Square is hosting African drumming workshops led by Asanti Dance Theatre. It just so happened that I’d been looking for a place to take African drumming classes.

Last Wednesday, the day of the infamous Great Westpac Heist, I checked out the African drumming at Fed Square. Just minutes after the guys from Asanti Dance Theatre put down the djembes, we were descended upon by tiny people otherwise known as schoolchildren. They quickly found a spot and began to beat those drums. They were pretty cute and were soon on their way.

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The men from Asanti Dance Theatre began by dancing and performing some acrobatic moves and soon got a healthy crowd drumming with them. After about half an hour, just as I was getting into the swing of it all, they took a break, and then the whole thing started again – schoolchildren (different ones), dancing, and same drumming routine. While it was fun, it wasn’t what I was looking for.

Later that night, I took the train into Brunswick for my first proper African drumming class with Melbourne Djembe. I kind of suck, but it was great fun and the teacher, Simon Lewis, is patient and excellent. By the end of the hour, I had actually learned a few things and he had us all sounding pretty good. Melbourne Djembe also offers African dancing classes (someday!) and sells drums.

To find out more about all the cool events at Fed Square, visit Federation Square’s website.

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2 Comments

  1. Superb! I love Fed Square, too. I love its weirdness, but most of all I love the feeling of community it engenders. It always seems to be brimming with life and people having fun. This sounds as if it’s a great event.

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