They are a formidable musical force conceived in love, rebellion and the evocative musical vigor of Kalpana Devi and Emmanuel Manou.
Kalpana’s work in dance performance and education, including cultural activism and youth leadership, has enabled us to contribute years of drum and dance experiences to children and families; performing music and dance internationally, and facilitating and creating platforms for authentic cultural exchanges. Our work has helped define a microcosmic Utopia- “Where any child can walk from any place in the world to any place in the world and be safe, welcome and fed”.
We are underway planning our next tour in West Africa.
Our last trip there, in 2008, ReBelle performed in cultural venues around Dakar and on Goree Island. ReBelle and Kalpana’s dance and drum ensemble, AzaAshe, brought an incredible vibrancy to the journey.
ReBelle and AzaAshe were hosted for the duration of the trip on the Island of Goree and the ensemble of 12 young dancers and drummers studied with master dancers and drummers each day. As a community, we entered the “door of no return” and dwelled in the personal and historical significance of the slave trade. We also entered, the “door of returning” and were welcomed by our African allies with heartful grace. Our tribe of 23 who travelled from the U.S., engaged in a rich, cultural exchange. Our music, dance and our humanity were deeply tuned by the experience.
“There is something in each of us, as we encounter ourselves as instruments, as we make love to every note in the scale of eternity, that is remembering to make ourselves whole again.
I lived inside of music and dropped into sensuous, warm pigments of sensations. I loved that in music I could feel things I’d not felt that day; that hour, or minute.
Like, free. Or fearless. Beautiful and expansive.
I loved feeling rhythm in music the most.
And as I grew up, I sought a kind of fierce, passionate rhythm to flood the ambiance of my soul.
It’s important to allow your story to be told according to your own perception, your truth, your heart. To tell it how you want to tell it, too. To tell it in music, or dance, or fitness, or raising children, or baking bread, or farming food or flowers, or in business or computer programming or law. Don’t let anyone tell you your version has to change for them, or that your dream is out of reach. Your dream is within reach if you dream it. Or else you wouldn’t dream it. That’s what beauty is. All the dreams of all the dreamers living out loud. All the love of all the lovers circulating through the rivers of their unending dreams. Today, everything and everywhere you see manifest? Yesterday’s dreams. Tomorrow is made of what you dream today.
Music is the scope of my dreams reaching for the next greatest version of fulfillment. Music is where love speaks in tones nourishing bones. The stage is the platform. The audience are siblings of the world.
Sisters and brothers, I celebrate your bold presence, your quiet strength, your vulnerable power, your authentic boom.” – Kalpana * ReBelle