Sophie Sabar was born in a small town in the east of Holland, West-African culture was non-existent back then. She travelled to the bigger Dutch cities to discover these kind of dances. From an early period discovering salsa, she found West-African dances from Ivory Coast and Senegal at the same time. Eventually a strong love affair with sabar began which started in 2002 after a visit to Dakar. Simultaneously she started first discovering and then exploring sabar from an anthropological point of view, which resulted in a master thesis on sabar.
She has since been part of Youssou Ndour’s former dancer Pape Ndiaye’s group, and also received training from Mame Bassine Thiam, Pape Moussa Sonko, Nogaye Ngom. She has featured in various mbalax videoclips and danced on stage with many Senegalese artists, such as Youssou Ndour, Viviane Ndour, Salam Diallo, Pape Diouf.
After coming back from Dakar she has dedicated her life to sabar. Since 2007 teaching sabar and mbalax in Amsterdam. With the same enthusiasm as her own teachers, she acquaints her students with this very specific, complicated and fascinating dance & percussion culture.
Workshops: Her mission is to contaminate as many people as I can with the sabar virus. From the perspective of both a sabar dancer and an anthropologist, she has always aimed for a link between both. This reflects in her pedagogy, which is characterized by the approach to the whole integrality of sabar, as not just a dance but a whole culture.
With all the knowledge Sophie has gathered throughout the years in Dakar and beyond, she is eager to share with sabar dancers who have all these questions ranging from:
Where is the beat? What rhythm is this? How do I know I am dancing correctly what steps do I dance on this rhythm, to what is a taneber and at what time does it start?
In these (all-level) workshops she will explore a different rhythm every day. The structure of a sabar event is always present in the way Sophie teaches: she always refers back to the sabar event in Senegal and puts the rhythms in their place. Moreover, she always works on the link between dancer and drummer, and how they interact and understand each other, how they communicate.
Teaching Video Clip here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z3BF9teo6s
Performance clip here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJt1qGlsFH8
Sabar Dance Workshops