Friday, September 28, 2007

"SABAR TOUBAAB" video seen 60,000 times on!

En Francais...
Récemment, j'ai signalé un clip vidéo de YouTube de moi faisant un solo sabar pendant une show a Los Angeles. C'était un solo très impromptu. Deux dames déjeunantes m'ont demandées pendant le show "Où sont vos danseurs? Nous avons dit à nos amis qu'il y aurait des danseurs!" J'ai expliqué que l'argent n'etait pas assez grand pour des danseurs mais pour EUX, je ferais un petit solo moi-même. A la fin du show, j'ai signalé au joueur parlant du tama, Magatte Sow "Tambour pour moi et je fait un petit solo." Il a fait, j'ai dansé, ils l'ont aimé, et ma amie, Lynette a l'attrapé tout sur le film.

Quelqu'un a a trouvé cette video, signalée lui, et il a été vu maintenant par presque 58.000 personnes. Incroyable! Bien plus incroyable est que puisque j'ai co-ecrti une chanson pour Youssou NDour que s'appelé Boul Bayekou, et parce que je peux danser aussi, Youssou m'a piloté à Dakar pour préparer avec ses 7 danseurs sénégalais pour deux expositions: un au théâtre de Sorano à Dakar, et puis à son énorme exposition annuelle chez Bercy à Paris devant 20.000 personnes. C'était l'une des choses les plus merveilleuses que j'ai jamais faites. Merci ainsi ! Il y a une vidéo de moi et Aziz Faye quand nous avons danse pour Youssou au théâtre de Sorano ci-dessous…

En Anglais...
Recently, I posted a YouTube video clip of me doing a sabar solo during a show at The Skirball Center. It was a very impromptu solo. Two lunching ladies asked me during the show's intermission, "Where are your dancers? We told our friends that there would be dancers!" I explained that the budget wasn't big enough for dancers but for THEM, I would do a solo myself. At the show's end, I signaled to talking drum player, Magatte Sow, "Drum for me and I'll do a little solo." He did, I danced, they loved it, and my friend, Lynette Wich, caught it all on film.

For the first six weeks it was on YouTube, 250 people per week were watching it. I was so excited! After a month, the viewer count had reached 1,200 and I thought, "Cooool!"

The one Monday, I checked it again and was stunned to find that number had jumped to 10,400????!!! I was totally puzzled and sure that it had been a mistake. Almost all of my other clips were growing in views at a normal rate, so why the jump?

Then Tuesday night Malik Sow (Magatte's dad) called to ask, "So, have you seen yourself on" No.

Turns out, is the #1 portal of news and culture for Francophone West Africa. Someone there spotted the video and decided to post it on the front page!! They gave it the title "Sabar Toubaab" which made me burst out laughing, as it means something like, "White Person Dancing Sabar." ("Toubab" can also mean "Western person" or "Non-Senegalese person," depending on the context in which it is used). It is now no longer on view directly from the website, but as of today over 55,000 people have watched it! There are a ton of comments below, too, that cover the widest span. Most are positive:

"how great that she shows such interest in our culture"
"look at how nice and modestly she dresses!"
"well done!"
"she must be Spanish"
"No, she must be French"
"No, she's English!"
"Frankly, I'm Senegalese and she dances better than me!"

Also, some negative ranting ones, too (yikes!) that inspired tons of counter-comments. The whole thing is like a Wonderful Crazy Cosmic Joke!!! Here is the direct link, if anyone wants to see the page:

I'm tempted to make myself a T-shirt with "Sabar Toubab" on the front and wear it in the streets of Dakar!

P.S. Crazy to think that this + writing a song (Boul Bayekou) for Youssou NDour + doing a solo at his December concert in LA equaled Youssou inviting me to Dakar to rehearse with his dancers for two weeks and then perform with him both in Dakar and in front of 20,000 at Bercy in Paris! Here is another video clip of me dancing for Youssou in Dakar... there's another blog about it at my page!

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Bouba said...

Do you have any idea how better of a dancer you are compare to some Senegalese people?

5:50 PM

Blogger Ashley Maher said...

You are a Sweetie! Having been to Dakar four times this year (Merci a Dieu!), I saw that some Senegalese don't dance very much at all. However, I saw dancers at sabars in Pikine and at some of the soiree senegalaises that absolutely blew my mind.... so creative and full of energy... mainly young men who had worked really hard at their dancing. They knew all the bakks and the most INTRICATE internal rhythms within the top mbalax hits. I wish the world could see them. They took my breath away. Thank you for your kind words. I may dance well, but I still have a LOT to learn! Peace and blessings, Ashley

9:10 PM

Anonymous Carmen said...

It's true that you shouldn't be judged on the solo at Skirball parce que c'était de la rigolade.
Modesty also seems to be one of your quality and that's nice: si tes chevilles enflent trop, tu ne pourras plus danser !:)

1:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:08 PM

Blogger Ashley Maher said...

HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA! Your comment made me laugh out loud and I love you for leaving it! Peace and sunshine, Ashley

2:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

eeeiii ihne luchwer whel you hare de best dancin of senegal peupleyou have thou brin mhy yor foto whit the trouses senegales then quiu love en espens wer hay live plaise yor pichot ok bey bey...?

12:36 PM

Blogger ISSIAKA ( ISSY ) said...

Si seulement de cette maniere que le monde pourra avancer pour le mieux.
I am not gonna say that you dance really really well, You already now that. Ce qui m'a seduit c'set ton amour pour notre culture. Thank for that and good luck

6:40 AM

Blogger Ashley Maher said...

Quand j'arrive à Dakar, mon corps et esprit entiers s'allume avec un genre magique de joie et de lumière. Au delà des reportages du media constants que parlent des problems en Afrique, il y a tellement merveille, beauté, humanité, talent, esprit, vie, et joie là que le monde doit voir!

8:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

pourquoi pas:)

8:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know how I can reach Magatte Sow? We're trying to bring him perform at our University (in Arizona) as part of our African Awareness weeek. Thanks in advance!

8:22 AM

Blogger Ashley Maher said...

email me at and I will happily give you his details. he is incredible !!

8:25 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home