Drum and Dance

Register now for Drum & Dance Weekend Camp!

The Drum at the End of the Rainbow - June 16-18 - Chesterfield, MA


Drum and Dance Northampton is now
a project of Dance Spree!

          Drum and Dance Northampton is the successor organization to the old Ritual Arts Collective, which put on 8 Drum & Dance events per year in South Amherst from 2002-2015. Based on the spectacular success of the new incarnation of Drum & Dance, the leaders of Dance Spree decided on 12/30/16 to hand Western Massachusetts's flagship freestyle group over to the Drum & Dance leadership, making them one organization.

          Drum and Dance is special, it is unique and uniquely powerful, and it is legitimately an entity all of its own; it will stay this way. The only difference will be that the two dances are organized jointly and that they will help to bring one another back to life.

          And, we've had great success so far! Please join us as we move outdoors for the summer, as it should be.


Drum & Dance Schedule

June 16-17-18 at Chesterfield Scout Reservation (22 Sugar Hill Rd)
The Drum at the End of the Rainbow:
1st Annual Weekend Camp
Register before April 14 for the early bird special!

Friday night Drum & Dance - 7:00-midnight
Saturday night Drum & Dance - 7:00-midnight

Friday, July 7 on the Amherst Common (32 Boltwood Ave)
Outdoors on the Common, Volume I

Saturday July 29 at Goddess Mountain (110 Dry Hill Rd Montague)
A Midsummer Night's Drum (and Dance)

Friday, August 4 on the Amherst Common (32 Boltwood Ave)
Outdoors on the Common, Volume II: August Loud

Friday, September 22 (Location to be determined)
Drum and Dance Northampton's one year anniversary!!!

Friday, December 22 (Location to be determined)
Love the Cold, Light the Dark II

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          Drum and Dance is originally a West African cultural phenomenon that has its roots in Yoruba (rural Nigerian) and other ethnic groups in a relatively small goegraphic area. The basic principle was that there was no "listening" to music or "watching" dancers; you danced when there was music and you drummed where there were people; everyone, of course, joined in the singing.
          But Drum and Dance takes this a step further and relieves everyone of all professional responsibility. Just as we dance in freestyle fashion - with a partner or by yourself, or in groups; on the floor or in the air, slowly or at the speed of light; to your own heartbeat or in Five Rhthyms - so here the music that we dance to is pick-up, freestyle, and pluralistic. What is more, at any moment, a dancer may choose - perhaps even for their first time - to leave the floor and begin to drum; likewise any drummer may stop, stand, and dance whenever they wish. The most ambitious among us may even attempt to fly through the space with a drum between our legs or a shaker in each hand.
          There are no musicians at Drum & Dance, and there are no performers. Ultimately there are not even truly drummers or dancers, but rather a motley collection of human brethren who silently, intuitively, organize themselves as they see fit in that moment. Nowhere in the music or dance world is there a greater equality than under these conditions - of men and women, of the many races, of historically conquered and descendants of conquerors, of musicians and musicheads, of dancers and theatre geeks - and, most importantly, of adults and children.
          Being nothing at all but simply human is a condition with which we are born, lose immediately, and then spend the rest of our lives desperately trying to achieve, usually without success. Rest, human. Your search is done. You are home.

Ages 10 & up $5
Kids 9 and under free

What to bring to a Drum & Dance gathering

The most valuable thing you can bring is yourself, your friends, and your family.

Bring your children. Drum & Dance is a safe, loving community space that welcomes all ages.
(I just realized how much it frustrates me that I felt compelled to add this, but I figure we'll get more kids if I leave it in and add this disclosure).

Bring drums, shakers, and anything else that makes noise.

Bring beautiful bodies and beautiful freestyle dance moves.

Bring beautiful voices and beautiful songs.

Bring cake, cookies, chocolate, and fruit for us all to share!

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Previous Drum & Dance gatherings

March 31: Imperfect, Holy, Holey, and Whole
Spring Fever ritual
The Ecstasy of Lights
Drum and Dance
DJ Marek

January 13: We Shall Overcome Ourselves
4th Annual Martin Luther King Alternative Winter Holiday Celebration
Drum and Dance
Bioluminosity with Bonnie Fire Urchin


December 23: Love the Cold - Light the Dark
Drum and Dance
Solstice celebration led by Rakia
Drum and Dance
Kirtan boogie with DJ Prakash

September 23: Drum & Dance Returns
Omnivorous potluck
Drum skills workshop by Aidan Talbot
Drum and Dance
Infusion Dance with DJ Nikos