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The Dance Complex in Cambridge: Listen to this

A few nights a week, the intense, rhythmic sound of African drumming takes over the space.

“Follow the sound of the drums.” Those were Rozann Kraus’s instructions. So I did. Sure enough, the beat led me right where she said it would: to the Dance Complex, the school and performance space she runs in Cambridge’s Central Square. After 8 o’clock a few nights a week (so scheduled to avoid driving nearby businesses nuts), the sound of African drumming — intense, rhythmic, inviting — pours out of historic Odd Fellows Hall on Massachusetts Avenue. Central Square throbs with street life, siren wails, debates over dissertation topics and English football, the Red Line’s rumble underfoot. The drums set their own tempo, drawing curious glances from those on the sidewalk below, which is illuminated by the neon glow from Hubba Hubba, a first-floor clothing and novelty store that sells things like Fetish Fantasy Lingerie. Upstairs, in a large second-floor studio, six drummers pound away. Barefoot dancers stride gracefully across a black floor, submitting to the trance. Here, the pulsating groove is not just heard but also felt, making the blood jump in every vein of one’s body.

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