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Interview with Lamine Thiam

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Interview with Lamine Thiam
Thiam, Lamine (Interviewee)
Webb, Carolyn (Carolyn Jeannette) (Interviewer)
Bernadi, François (Videographer)
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Associated name)
New York Public Library. Dance Division (Associated name)

African Dance Video Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2013-05-23
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 1336
Thiam, Lamine
Mouflet, A. Djoniba, 1961-
Dance -- Africa, West
Drum -- Performance -- Africa, West
Music -- Africa, West
Statement of responsibility: conducted by Carolyn Webb.
Content: Widescreen.
Content: Interview with Lamine Thiam conducted by Carolyn Webb on May 23, 2013 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City as part of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division's Oral History Project.
Statement of responsibility: This interview was made possible by the cooperation of The Dance Oral History Project, and Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library.
Creation/production credits: Videography production, François Bernadi.
Venue: Videotaped during interview at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, N.Y. on 2013 May 23.
Funding: This recording was made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Funding: The assistance of the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts is gratefully acknowledged.
Funding: The Dance Division gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Jerome Robbins Foundation.
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video file (93 min.) sound, color
Lamine Thiam speaks with Carolyn Webb about being born in Senegal in 1972; his family life as a child in Dakar; first noticing dance at the age of five; the cultural traditions involving dance and music including baptisms, weddings, and family gatherings; the naming ceremony (baptism) being an all day party; being raised by his parents in separate homes; being encouraged by his brother, a professional dancer; studying at the Manhattan Dance School at age 15; how he was taught to be a professional dancer, learning the Sabar, and the difference between the Sabar dance at school for entertainment and in ceremonies; how dancing and drumming combine into one and the relationship between them; drums and drumming conversations; singing the song on his answering machine and how singing is a big part of the African dance tradition; discussion of a circumcision ceremony and the dances accompanying this ceremony; being from a family of Griots (West African historians/storytellers); a typical day at dance rehearsal as a 15 year old at the Manhattan Dance School and the Conservatory [Conservatoire National d'Arte Dramatique du Sénégal]; being in a professional dance company at the age of 18 and dancing with various companies; moving to the United States in 1993 and getting married; finding African Dance in upstate New York where he taught; taking class and meeting Djoniba [Mouflet] at Fareta; teaching at Fareta, Danspace, and Djoniba Dance and Drum Centre; explaining the difference between African drumming and dancing rhythms (Sabar, Djembe, and Kutiro); how the body is used in African dance, and the difference between ballet and African dance; the importance of dancing for health and well-being; Thiam inviting interested people to take one of his African dance Cumbe classes; creating a dance company in 1994 named Bousso African Dance and Drum Ensemble; acting in the movie Amistad and auditioning with Debbie Allen; comparing dancers from Africa to dancers from the U.S.; why he left New York; the ideal weather conditions for him; how difficult it is to be a dancer; how to be a good dancer; and his wish for preserving African Dance.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19940515
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): a359e2b0-0821-0131-e906-3c075448cc4b
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 2013: Digitized
  • 2013: Created
  • 2023: Found by you!
  • 2024

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Lamine Thiam" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2013.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Lamine Thiam" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 27, 2023.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2013). Interview with Lamine Thiam Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Interview with Lamine Thiam, (2013)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=March 27, 2023 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Lamine Thiam