Free Event

UC RIVERSIDE Department of Dance

UCR Doundounba Festival 2022
West African Drum and Dance

Join host Makeda Kumasi for the fifth annual free event on West African Drum and Dance as we engage in strength, wellness and community support that is the Doundounba.

May 27 - 28, 2022
FREE to the public

• Film Festival 
• Community Forum 
• Classes in West African Drum and Dance

Register in advance for this festival.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the festival.

View the poster

View the program

Friday, May 27 - INTS 1128 / Zoom Meeting
Documentary screenings w/ Q&A

  • 6:30 p.m.: Doors open
  • 6:40 p.m.: Film: "12 Days in Senegal; An Artist's Journey Doc-Journal" by Makeda Kumasi
  • 7:15 p.m.: Film: "Momma, I can't Breathe" by Kouman Kele
  • 7:25 p.m.: Film: "Collaborative Conversations on the Continent" by Dr. S. Ama Wray
  • 8:15 p.m.: Community Forum with Ms. Linda Faye Johnson, Bay Area Culture Bearer, Dr. S. Ama Wray, UC Irvine Department of Dance, Ms. Nzingha Camara of Kouman Kele African Dance and Drum Ensemble (remote participation).

Saturday, May 28 - ARTS 100 (outside / ARTS building courtyard)

  • 8:30 a.m.: Registration
  • 9:00 - 10:50 a.m.: Djembe / Doun Drum Workshop - Bara Mboup & Will Gordon
  • 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.: Dance warm up
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.: Master Class - Alseny Soumah of the Lahydi Collective
  • 1:00 - 1:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1:30 - 2:00 p.m.: Demonstration lecture - Joy Martin of Caribbean Joy Dance Company
  • 2:10 - 3:00 p.m.: Community Doundounba

The Alseny Soumah Lahydi Collective is dedicated to sustaining the cultural integrity and legacy of Guinea, West Africa through education, advocacy, community programs and partnerships. We aim to bring West African Dance, Drum & Culture to enthusiasts who seek to learn, experience, & perpetuate the magnificence of Africa. We invest & nurture future generations to evolve in the arts & culture.

Doundounba is a traditional West African rhythm and dance known as the dance of the strong man. It is a dance that showcases the heritage and culture of Africans and African Americans, and the values of strength, agility, vitality, community, communication, creativity, and wholistic health. This dance was known to be used as a way to resolve conflict and disagreements in the village or with neighboring tribes in the Great Mali Empire of West Africa. Activities in The Doundounba Festival include film screenings, community discussions with artists and scholars, classes, and a showcase.

This highly significant rhythm and dance has been practiced for many centuries and represents multiple social and cultural values of various ethnic groups in the western region of Africa. The Doundounba is also an event that brings the community together to showcase the artists, and create awareness of its values and tradition. For the individual it represents one's creativity, agility, vitality, and strength. Culturally, it represents a rich heritage filled with pride, identity and power. The inherent West African traditions and values are expressed to the world through its intricate rhythms, song and dance.

Sponsorship: UCR Department of Dance, UCR Department of Theater Film and Digital Production, UCR African Studies Committee, WE 3 PRODUCTIONS, “We The People” Cultural Consortium, Center for Ideas and Society

About Makeda Kumasi  
Makeda Kumasi is Founder / Artistic Director of The Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire (UEIE) and Co-founder of WE 3 PRODUCTIONS. UEIE is a performance group that has been “edutaining ” audiences through an African art aesthetic for over two decades. Makeda has toured with two prominent Southern California based performance companies, Abalaye African Drum and Dance Ensemble, and Niancho Eniyaley African Dance Performers. Makeda holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Education from the University of Phoenix. She teaches West African movement classes in the community and at the University of California, Riverside. In 2014, she received a Professional Development Grant to study West African Dance in Senegal. From her experience, Makeda has written two books: 12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey, which is a journal of her sabbatical, I See Hip Hop Afrika, a poetry/picture book, as well as produced a documentary short “12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey, Docu-Journal”.


Parking is complimentary to guests who register for the event. Once registration is complete, a link and access code to reserve parking will be sent to guest.



Effective April 11, masks are required indoors for all audience members who are not up-to-date on vaccinations and are strongly recommended for those who are up-to-date on vaccinations.

Audience and cast members must report COVID test results, symptoms, or exposure through the online COVID Screening Check and should remain at home if they are sick.

All in-person events are subject to change based on COVID-19 protocols set forth by UC Riverside campus leadership.

Performers are unmasked during performances


For more information email: 

Photo Credit: Archives of Alseny Soumah

Event Details

  • Amiko King-Garrett
  • Re’Nyqua Farrington
  • Paola Palomino
  • Leticia Gonzalez

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