SABAR - Oude ritmes in moderne tijden

SABAR - Ancient rythms in modern times
A Documentary by Arda Nederveen
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funded project
donated of €9.000
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Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINESABAR is about the popular percussion and dance from Senegal, which is characterized by huge complex, driving rhythms and explosive dance.


My first sabarfeast is etched in my memory. An unexplained adrenaline and joy came over me. The frenzied crowd, the rousing, deafening sounds of sabars and explosive dancers made ​​a huge impression on me. It was then that I decided to capture this spectacular phenomenon in the form of a documentary. 

Maguette was one of the drummers who participated in the study. I asked him to participate in this documentary: he has his own group, the responsibility to his family and is a passionate drummer.

Sabar is virtually unknown in the West. The global march that djembe experienced, seems not to be there for sabar. It may have something to do with the fact that in Western ears sabar is often too hard, too complex, too fast, and according to some percussion enthusiasts even aggressive. For me that is true, it's hard, it's inimitable, no size can be recognized and I am physically restless, but also very cheerful. If ever I visit a sabarparty in a bad mood, then I'll invariably leave with very good sense. This I give more people.

The percussionist Maguette Gueye - 31 years - can not help but play on his sabar (Senegalese drum), like a painter who can not live without his brushes. It is his passion.

He is no ordinary Senegalese, but a Wolof griot, who is destined to live as sabarplahyer. He is one of the many drummers in Dakar who leads a miserable existence and have to keep standing in the ever-growing group of artists. Will his two sons follow this way of life?


Sabar is Senegal, Senegal sabar. The diffuse word "sabar" has three meanings. The party, the drum and dance. From the streets of Dakar to the village squares in the interior, sabar is danced and played by young and old. It is an equally essential part of the Senegalese society as the mobile phone, where every Senegalese carrying around. Election campaigns, advertising stunts of Maggi, school parties, births, weddings, meetings of women's associations, wrestling (sport number one), all assisted by the drums.

Sabarensembles consist of at least three, but more often ten or more musicians that are very complex and fascinating musical play. This has not only to do with the fact that every kind of drum playing his own party, but also because multiple rhythms-tight and fast-alternate with others bakks (existing compositions). Add to that tempo, dynamics and transverse variations solos, and it delivers a dazzling whole.

In sabar tradition and modernity go hand in hand. The sabarrythms which are danced are traditional, as well as the setting (sabars are still by and for women organized and associated with each life-cycle ritual) but it is the youth of today in the streets and nightclubs, that play the stars of heaven and the ancient rhythms transform into new compositions.

Why funding?

The recordings have been made, there is great stuff. But now the film needs editting, color correction, audio post processing, subtitling and PR. To complete the film I want to ask you if you can support it. You will be guaranteed happy, because there is much exciting percussion, explosive dance and vibrant energy!

Quote that inspired the maker

Sabar is my life, I can not do without.
Maguette Gueye
This project was successfully funded on 02-07-2013

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