Bringing the World to Alameda

Vijay Rhakra    Duniya Dance and Drum Company will present traditional dance and music from Guinea in West Africa at the ‘Round the World Festival, a free event taking place this Sunday.

Bringing the community together for a celebration of global cultures through dance, music, art and food, Rhythmix Cultural Works presents its third annual ‘Round the World Festival this Sunday, Oct. 7, from noon to 3 p.m. Guests of all ages are invited to take a journey through West Africa, Brazil, Japan, Persia, India, Spain and Latin America with hands-on arts activities, demos, delicious treats and more.

The free festival kicks off with a visit to Brazil and a special presentation from Capoeira Mandinga Alameda. Watch the graceful kicks, spins and cartwheels of this artful self-defense form, as partners pair off to show their skills and the community performs songs and chants. Next, members of Ballet Afsaneh will showcase dances from Persia, combining fluid motions of the hands and arms with rhythmic expressions of the feet. 

Maze Daiko then takes the stage for an interactive taiko percussion performance. Combining the powerful sound and physical elegance of taiko, the energetic ensemble based at Rhythmix has many years of experience performing for schools with Young Audiences of the Bay Area, San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music and a Cal Performances residency.

Duniya Dance and Drum Company then presents traditional dance and music from Guinea in West Africa. Musicians will play djembe and dounoun as accompaniment to the dynamic dance movements.  The fast-paced choreography and improvisation illustrates life events such as initiations, celebrations, farming and spiritual rituals.

Dancers from the Chhandam School of Kathak bring the audience to Northern India, via the complex rhythms of their feet. 

Another highlight of the afternoon features a full-length performance from the Ka-Hon Latin Percussion Ensemble, sharing songs and music from Peru, Mexico, Spain, Cuba and Venezuela. The ensemble features four Grammy Award-winning artists. 

The festival will also feature a “global marketplace” where attendees can sign up for chocolate tastings with Cocoa Case and Mambo Diablo Coffee or browse handmade jewelry, clothing and other items available for purchase from Arts Africains and Artesania y Botanicas del Sol. Vietnamese food from Dragon Rouge and Indian food from the MA Center will also be available. 

Youth instrument- and passport- making activities will be provided by Alameda Education Foundation artists from noon to 2 p.m., and all participants can add their creativity and personal history to the Community Art, Map and Language Walls around the venue.

The ‘Round the World festival is provided at no cost (or by donation) with an RSVP requested at www.rhythmix.org. Rhythmix Cultural Works is located at 2513 Blanding Ave.