A Bele Dance Song

A bélé is a type of Caribbean Creole dance of African origin. The bélé was traditionally performed on full moon nights. There's a aspect of this type of song being a mating ritual, and as such it's usually danced by a man and woman. The song has a leader and a chorus - it's a call and response song. The music revolves around the playing of a drum called the tambour bélé.

Nowadays the bélé is mostly performed for holidays like Easter, Independence Day and Christmas and at festivals and special occasions.

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Video notes by Clement: "The awesome talents of the TRADIBELLE Cultural Group of Grand Bay, Dominica, are displayed in this presentation staged as part of the Official Opening Ceremony for Independence 2011.

I call it 'Bele Double-Take' because I've fused 2 couples dancing on the same song, the Bele classic 'Anayé'.

The activity... was the start of activities commemorating Dominica's 33rd Anniversary of INDEPENDENCE."
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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Sylvia from Kwéyòl-nou (a site about the Dominican Creole language) for helping us with the lyrics and translation of this song!

Sung and danced by Tradibelle in Dominica.

Sylvia wrote:

"The songs are quite often 'improvisations' and just made up whilst the musicians are playing, although nowadays, I would say that a lot more organisation and rehearsal goes into these routines. Since this song and dance was performed at the opening ceremony of Dominica's 33rd Anniversary of Independence Celebrations, I think it would be safe to say that there would have been a songwriter (or maybe the whole Tradibelle group collaborated). I don't know for sure who wrote the song. The routine would most certainly have been rehearsed in order to perfect it for such a special occasion."

Image of the Tambour Bélé: Fabrication artisanale du Tambour par Jean-Michel Lisima

Mèsi!

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