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Interview with Maguette Camara

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Interview with Maguette Camara

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Interview with Maguette Camara
Additional title: Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image original documentation
Camara, Maguette (Interviewee)
Camara, Maguette (Performer)
Felix, Ife (Interviewer)
Webb, Carolyn (Carolyn Jeannette) (Project director)
Bernadi, François (Videographer)
Mertz Gilmore Foundation (Presenter)
New York Public Library. Dance Division (Presenter)

African Dance Video Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2014-08-06
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 4093
Camara, Maguette
Dance -- Senegal -- Dakar
Drum -- Senegal -- Dakar
Music -- Senegal -- Dakar
Filmed dance
Filmed performances
Statement of responsibility: conducted by Ife Felix ; project director, Carolyn Webb.
Content: Widescreen.
Statement of responsibility: This interview was made possible by the cooperation of the Jerome Robbins Archive of the Recorded Moving Image, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library.
Creation/production credits: Videographer, François Bernadi.
Venue: Videotaped during interview at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York. N.Y., as part of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation funded African Dance Interview Project 2014 August 6.
Funding: This recording was made possible by Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
Funding: African Dance Interview Project funded by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
Physical Description
Born digital
Extent: 1 video files (76 min.) : sound, color
Maguette Camara (West African choreographer, musician and teacher) discusses learning to play African drums, rhythms, and dances while growing up in his birthplace Dakar, Senegal; joining and perfoming with The Ballet Bougarabou du Senegal; company director's Mamadou Mbaya and Bassirou Saneh noticing his ability; performing at the age of 13 with the opening act for Senegalese musician Baaba Maal; Wolof being the national language and predominant culture in Senegal; talks about other ethnic groups and their cultures with a focus on dance and drum; his mothers love of dancing but how she initially wasn't supportive of his dance career; following The Ballet Bougarabou company on Canadian and United States tour in 1993-1994; making New York City his home; how the language barrier was the most difficult obstable but he felt well advised and supported by the Senegalese artist community here; his African dance teaching styles include Djembe, Kutiro, Sabar, Bougarabou, and Serer; teaching Djembe style because there were already too many Sabar teachers; comparing traditional community cultural dance events to those presented by professional dance companies in Africa, and how story-telling and choreography are developed to create a stage presentation showcasing different ethnic groups; the difference between Kutiro, Sabar, and Bougarabou dance styles; his early NYC teaching career beginning at Lezly Dance and Skate School, to his eventual invitation to teach at The Alvin Ailey School, and at Barnard College; how the dance rhythm has changed over the years; interaction between the dancer and the lead drummer; seeing the sense of community develop in his dance classes, and how African dance has enhanced their lives; how he learned Djembe; additional drumming opportunities at Battery Park and in Public Schools; feeling compelled to dance in order to educate people in African dance and his desire to keep his culture alive; the lessons he learned by teaching and being part of the American culture; bringing people together by word of mouth; how dance imitates life; getting new students into class and keeping them there; creating rhythms and how they are used in family situations; choosing between Senegalese, Guinean, and Mali dances in class depending on the students' dance level; how he selects drummers for his classes; where he sees African dance in five years; paying homage to the elders including Papa Ladji Camara and Babatunde Olatunji; performing a Lengen (a dance from the Kutiro drum orchestra), showing his mom's favorite dance step, and demonstrating how the Sangban is played in Africa versus the way it is played now in the United States.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20524239
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 6b9c7240-9e8a-0132-e627-3c075448cc4b
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

  • 2014: Created
  • 2023: Found by you!
  • 2024

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Maguette Camara" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2014.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Maguette Camara" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 21, 2023.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2014). Interview with Maguette Camara Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Interview with Maguette Camara, (2014)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=March 21, 2023 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Maguette Camara