Tribe of Doris 2010

What started out eighteen years ago as an impromptu African drum convention in Bristol has become a vibrant multicultural exchange of acoustic music, dance, song and ceremony.

From Tuesday 10th until Sunday 15th August, Tribe of Doris, a summer school and festival in Black Down Hills, Devon, will offer 40 workshops a day in drumming, dance, and voice, featuring inspirational teachers from across the globe. Doris is primarily a participatory event, where learning from the artists is the core activity, interspersed with open mic performances, spontaneous jamming, elaborate ceremonies, fireside jamborees, a health and relaxation zone and a host of creative youth activities.

On the workshop front, African highlights include djembe drumming with the legendary Seckou Keita, sabar dance and drum, and traditional and contemporary African dance. The Latin area offers Flamenco dance, samba and Brazilian song. In the Arabic area, you can learn Sufi whirling, belly dance and Middle Eastern music. Other highlights include Taiko drumming, West Papuan song, Jewish niggun, Tibetan song, yoga and tai chi.

The youth area is packed with activities, from metal work, theatre, circus skills and trampolining to hip hop, rap, poetry and digital recording. Workshops cater for all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced students.

There will also be showcase performances from teachers and participant groups throughout the event, including Denise Rowe and Nii Tagoe from Baka Beyond.

“In this festival atmosphere, the excitement of learning explodes across the site,” said Deasy Bamford, one of Doris’s founding directors. “The buzz of happiness and involvement is a far cry from the hedonistic pleasures of a typical festival – there’s more connection to other people and it gives you something to go away and engage with for the rest of the year.” He added: “Doris is a family, a tribe. Because it’s not a performance focused event, the boundaries between the artists and the public are broken down.”

Doris reaches a grand crescendo when the various workshop tribes come together for a spectacular closing ceremony on the Sunday night, each group showcasing what they’ve learnt during the festival in a sequence of spirited performances.

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