We got the beat 

The beat of a different drum is what moves Oluremi Ayotunde. As co-founder and choreographer of Atlanta-based F' Nyere F' (Moving Forward) African Dance Collective, Ayotunde strives to maintain the integrity of the African culture and promote awareness of its various dance and drum traditions.

To that end, Ayotunde's dance collective hosts the third annual Dance and Drum Conference at Clark Atlanta University. The event culminates July 28 with "The Pearl of Africa," a showcase featuring performances by local African drum and dance companies.

The conference also features a series of performances, lectures and master classes in dance, drum and martial arts, led by internationally acclaimed drum and dance artists from Africa, the Congo, Cuba and America. Participating master artists include Mabiba Baegne, a former dancer with the Congolese National Dance Company; Samba Diallo, former member of the National Ballet of Côte D'Ivoire; and Souleymane Diop, master of the Kutiro drum orchestra of the Mandinko people of the Sene-Gambia region.

Vendors also will be on site, selling homemade clothing, authentic African drums and food.

F' Nyere F' African Dance and Drum Conference will take place July 26-29. All events will be held on the campus of Clark Atlanta University at the Vivian Henderson Gym. The Pearl of Africa collective performance will take place July 28 at Davage Auditorium at 8 p.m. and costs $8-18 per ticket. Classes $10-$15, children under 10 free. www.dance-atlanta.com. 404-336-6193.



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