Lamine Sonko was born in Senegal West Africa into a family of griots known as culture keepers. Griots are the custodians of ancient lineages, functioning as the eyes and ears of the community. the griot's reposnsibility is to practice and teach the stories of their culture through the embodied oral traditions of song, music and dance. An oral culture is one alive only in practice, and so it is the griot that must animate the spirit of the past into the present and towards future through remembering, sharing, performing and teaching of song, drum and dance.
Lamine learnt his craft while growing up in an artistic family. Most notably, his parents maintain the strongest influence on his talent. His father, Bouly Sonko, is presently the Director for the Senegalese national drum and dance company Waaro Siita. His mother, Oumy Sene, was the first solo dancer for Le Ballet National Du Senegal and is also currently a member of Waato Siita. Lamine's family are well known musically and highly respected internationally.
Now living in Melbourne, Australia - and a part of the West African Diaspora, the position of traditional griot expands to embrace a new cultural position, whereby music becomes a platform for bringing diverse cultures and practices together into space for the communion of multiple knowledges - traditional and contemporary.
Lamine's practice is motivated by a desire to experiment in this space between the traditional and the contemporary in ways that develop new forms of musical collaboration and exchange. this is underpinned by a larger aim to develop communities of musicians from the African, Australian, American and European continents, working to build a space in which a spirit of togetherness for a better future can be experienced through the unyielding force of music and dance.
1pm Open level
2.15pm Intermediate level