GIWAYEN MATA has a wide range of ways that we can engage and entertain your audience. Peruse our program descriptions below to spark ideas for your cultural arts performance needs. As you complete our online Booking Form, include the name of a piece from our repertoire when you feel this choice will be a perfect fit for you.
A Tribute to Mothers – A concert of works in honor of the various positive attributes of biological, emotional, and spiritual mothers. Features songs, rhythms, and dances from Africa and the African Diaspora, video, photography, drama, and lyrics. (1 hour, 90 min, 2 hours)
Echoes of Africa – A compilation of songs, rhythms, dances, and story telling. (30 min or 60 min)
Full Circle – A compilation of songs, rhythms, dances, and story telling. During this performance GIWAYEN MATA will present songs, rhythms, and dances of Africa and the African Diaspora. GIWAYEN MATA will combine lecture, demonstration, and audience interaction. The ensemble will take audience members on a journey from independent African life to and through the Middle Passage, to the United States. They will compare and contrast contemporary dance movements with traditional African dance movements, discuss African-American inventions and leaders, and again celebrate the beauty of African cultures in America.
Goin’ to the Gullah – A view of the music, movements, and games of the Gullah with correlations to West African rhythms and movements. (30 min)
Highlights – A celebration of years of drumming, dancing & singing while daring to do them differently! This concert features dances, rhythms & songs of Africa and the African Diaspora and sign language. Join GIWAYEN MATA for this joy-filled and exhilarating celebration for an experience you will long remember.
Illimi – Focuses on the history of women and African drumming and includes songs, dances, and a briefing on various instruments. (30 min)
Kwanzaa – It’s More Than a Holiday! – Presents the seven principles of Kwanzaa as positive ethical standards by which to live. Features songs, rhythms, and dances reflective of the African Diaspora. (30-45 min)
Movin’ Melodies and Rockin’ Rhythms – A presentation that highlights the vocal and poetic talents of the ensemble. While this presentation does include dance and rhythms of the Diaspora, the focal point is a variety of songs featuring original GIWAYEN MATA selections including contemporary and traditional works such as rhythm and blues, gospel, spirituals, and more. (30-45 min.)
Osram Ne Nsoromma – A demonstration of a wedding celebration incorporating African and African American traditions. (45 min)
Resa Copes – A dramatic presentation created to assist children in handling difficult situations (like saying “no” to drugs) and increase their awareness and appreciation of their own talents and skills. Features songs, dances, and poetry. (45 min)
Rising to Our Power – A stimulating concert of works by and about women and their relationships with family, community, the world at large, and each other. Features songs, rhythms, and dances reflective of Africa and the African Diaspora. (1 hour, 90 min. or 2 hours)
Salute To Our Men – This powerful production, with African and African inspired rhythms, dances, songs and prose, video and more tells stories of the men we appreciate, honor and love: our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, and friends.
SIGNATURES – A celebration in music, dance, and spoken word featuring GIWAYEN MATA signature pieces and more!
Wonder Woman – A sassy, fiery, innovative, and just “plain ol’ fun” concert that highlights the beauty strength, wisdom, power, and joy of womanhood. Features songs, rhythms, and dances of Africa and the African Diaspora, video, photography, drama, and lyrics. (1 hour, 90 min. or 2 hours)
Workshops and Residencies
GIWAYEN MATA offers workshops and residencies in dance, percussion, vocals, arts ‘n crafts, sign language, Gullah polyrhythms and games, and self-esteem for children and adults. Most workshops include an introduction, warm-up, work-out, cool-down, and discussion. The purpose of each workshop is to provide participants with the opportunity to more fully experience the dances, rhythms, songs, and other information presented during a performance (although viewing a performance is not a requirement to benefiting from a workshop.) The participants should leave the workshops with an increased awareness and appreciation of self, a heightened understanding and appreciation of African and African-American music and dances as viable art forms, and a vision of how these are practical tools for building cultural respect.
Residencies are geared to maximize the participant’s learning experiences during workshops. The workshops that are marked with an asterisk may be taught in preparation for the students to present a culminating performance at the end of the residency. Some of the available workshops are described below:
*African Dance – Dance to the rhythms of live African drums. Move to the directions of GIWAYEN MATA. If you enjoy learning about African culture in a fun and exciting way, then this workshop is for you! After being given a cultural background of a particular dance with songs, rhythms, and movements you are guaranteed to “experience” your muscles thoroughly and leave this workshop feeling revived, rejuvenated, and possibly in need of a little rest. (1-2 hours)
*African Drumming – Been dreaming of playing drums? Been hearing the rhythms in your head? Dancing and tapping to those rhythms as you go about your day? Well, bring all of that wonderful energy and your drum (or rent one form GIWAYEN MATA) to learn some of the fundamentals of West African drumming techniques through traditional rhythms. (1-2 hours)
Breath and Stretch – Feeling a little tense? Get your day started or wind down with a relaxing and invigorating “tune-up” designed to explore the relationship of breath to mood, movements, and well-being. This workshop will encompass breathing, stretching, fluid movement, and will include some yoga and meditation. As a daily component of a retreat or as an introduction to a new life’s routine, Breath and Stretch will be a great way to relieve stress and comfortably prepare each participant to receive the benefits of their daily activities. Participants will enjoy working out to light percussive instrumentation and affirming words of guidance from GIWAYEN MATA. (1 hour)
*Feminine Path – Not exclusively for women, this workshop offers participants the opportunity to explore the journey of carrying life, giving birth, nurturing life, and being reborn. Through songs, rhythms, and movements this highly interactive workshop will allow participants to tap into their feminine energies. This workshop may be of special interest to women and girls who are participating in a Rites of Passage or Naming Ceremony. (1-2 hours)
*Groovin’ with GIWA – A total mind-body-spirit experience the “GIWA-way” with songs, affirmations, contemporary and African movements to live drumming. (90 min)
*Healing Powers of Creativity – “From the fires of remembrance, by dancing to the dreams of yesterday, you are your soul in the embers, resonating in the sacred ways. Our heart is beating because the drum is alive. The drum is the breath of our ancient ones, whose prayers carried us to now-sustaining us eternally.”- Cindy Taylor (audience member)
Healing the world through music, song, and dance, GIWAYEN MATA will share perspectives of indigenous cultures and peoples introducing participants to the history of the drum, experiences of women as drummers, and the healing power of drumming and dancing. Find your place in this sacred ceremonial circle of creativity. Bring your rhythm keepers (instruments of choice), your body, and your willingness to heal through creativity. (1-2 hours)
Choreography and Musical Arrangements
GIWAYEN MATA celebrates an ensemble that is multi talented. In addition to pieces choreographed/musically arranged by company members, the ensemble has been graced with the artistic guest works of the following people:
Assane Konte, Founder and Artistic Director of Kan Kouran West African Dance Company, Marie Basse Wiles, Founder and Artistic Director of Maimuna Keita African Dance Company; Abdel Salaam, Co-founder and Artistic Director of Forces of Nature; Ronald K. Brown, Founder and Artistic Director of EVIDENCE: A Dance Company; Djian Tie; Mahiri Keita, Co-founder and Director of Farafina Kan; Kwame Ross; Papa Abdulaiye Camara; and Weedie Braimah.
As you can see, GIWAYEN MATA has a powerful line up to offer. Whether it is for summer camps and schools (Pre K-High School), colleges or universities, religious organizations, conferences, or club/association functions, GIWAYEN MATA has an exciting performance for you. It will be educational, uplifting, inspiring, and enjoyable.