One of the best ways to work with dancers is to work them on their home turf, or in a studio that's known for being a "safe space" to learn. Residencies are one of the easiest ways for an artist to give students hands-on access, with classes and workshops tailored specifically to each institution.
Bakary's 2020 residency at Queensborough Community College in Bayside Queens, New York included standard technique classes with QCC dance majors that were taught Sabar dance technique for the first time. Working with Professor Kevin McEwen, Bakary choreographed a piece entitled "Sabar Rek!" setting the choreography on seven QCC dance majors. This choreography would be performed at the American College Dance Association's northeast conference in February, 2020.
Bakary is available for workshop and choreography residencies at the collegiate level and at private dance institutions. Bakary's residencies can be customized to meet the needs and requests of the hosting institution and students. Residencies can typically last from one month to a full university semester, but shorter residencies are available.
Programming may include classes in technique, improvisation, experimental choreography or repertoire development. Residencies can be tailored towards students, educators and/or choreographers.
The initial work with the QCC Dance Majors centered on getting them acclimated to new dance technique. Sabar was a new technique for them. Bakary came in and conducted a week long dance intensive focused on getting them acclimated to the dance's movements
As the students learn about the dance technique, they also have to learn the cultural aspects associated with the dance. This means learning some Wolof (the native language of the Wolof people of Senegal) and the art of storytelling through words and movement.
After learning the words of the Wolof language, the dancers are taught the choreography they will do while, saying the Wolof phrasing. At this point, it truly becomes a cultural immersion expereince that expands the worldview of the QCC dance majors.
View the final work of the QCC dance majors performing "Sabar Rek!" at the 2020 American College Dance Association (ACDA) Northest Conference, held March 5th-8th and SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam, New York.