ensemble specializes in a broad spectrum of musical styles
ranging from work-based dances to ritualistic ones representative of
Central and Southern Africa. Through hard work, dedication,
research and training, the ensemble now boasts of a large repertoire
dances from: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Togo,
Nigeria, Uganda, Benin, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
In addition, the ensemble has created new contemporary dances and instrumental
such as: Creole African, Totobli Metrov #1, Three Movement
Suite for Pan-African Chamber Orchestra, Totobli, Polyrhythms, Coexistence,
from West Africa: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea,
Senegal, Togo, etc.
social dance-drumming ceremony of the Agni ethnic group from Côte d’Ivoire,
Agbadza is among the oldest musical types performed by
the Southern Ewe of Ghana, Togo, Benin, and parts of Southwestern
Nigeria. Agbadza is derived from an older war dance known
as Atrikpui. As a social and recreational music and dance,
its performance is open to everybody in the community,
irrespective of class, age, sex, and religion. There are
other varieties of this musical type that have different
names: Kini, Akpoka, Ageshie, and Agba-- tempo being the
main distinguishing factor among these varieties. There
are five sections or movements in Agbadza performance:
1. Banyinyi- a short introductory piece that is performed
as a prayer to the gods and the ancestors, 2. Vutsotso-
the main dance section, 3. Adzo- a less-vigorous dance
section, during which only the master drum, Sogo, accompanied
by Gakogui and Axatse are used, 4. Hatsatsa- song cycle,
during which topical, historical, philosophical, and reflective
songs are performed accompanied by Gakogui and Atoke, 5.
Vutsotso- another round of the main dance section, which
may last for several hours.
Agbaei is another social music and dance of the Krobo of
Ghana. It is flirtatious in nature. Oral history has it that Agbaei
was founded when the elders of the Krobo land in their early days
of settlement realized that the youth were having problems with "Dating." The
young men and women were therefore compelled to participate in this
music and dance so that they can gather some tips to help them in
real life situations.
Adowa is by far the most widespread and frequently performed social
dance of the Akan people of Ghana. The Akan are located in Ashanti,
Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central and parts of the Volta Regions of Ghana.
It is best described in Akan musical traditions as a women's dance
because they dominate the performance. The few men that are seen during
any performance handle the musical instruments. This dance is mostly
performed at funerals, but can also be seen at yearly festivals, visits
of important dignitaries, and other celebrations.
Adzogbo originated from Benin (Dahomey) as a Dzovu (spiritual/religious)
music and dance). It was called Dzovu, in that during any
performance, the men participants would display their dzoka
(juju/charms) especially the so-called "love charms” to
seduce women. When this music was brought to Togo and later
Ghana in the late 19th century, its function changed. The
southeastern Ewe of Ghana now performs it for entertainment
during festivals and other social occasions. The women's’ section
or phase of the dance is called Kadodo.
AAlangey was originally a ritual dance of the Nanumba of Northern Ghana. It is
presently performed as a social dance among the various ethnic groups of
Dagbon predominantly the Dagbamba.
Atsiagbekor is among the oldest traditional dances of the
Ewe-speaking people of Southern Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
Originally a war dance performed after battle when the
warriors returned to the village, it is now performed on
many social occasions. One of the outstanding features
of the dance is the interaction between the master drummer
and the dancers: ‘every rhythmic theme played on
the master drum has a corresponding sequence of dance movements
which is timed to precisely match the drum rhythms" (Locke,
1978). Atsiagbekor songs constitute an important heritage
of Ewe oral tradition. Most of the songs contain historical
references to their chiefs, war leaders, migration stories,
themes relating to the invincibility of the Ewes against
their enemies, themes of loyalty, bravery, and death etc.
To watch an Atsiagbekor performance today in Ghana is to
watch scenes, which may have their actual origins in battles
that were fought as the Ewes trekked through hostile countries
in search of peace.
Atsokla is one of the movements of Adzogbo music and dance
ceremony. Adzogbo originated from Benin as a dzohu (spiritual/religious
music and dance). It was then called adzohu, in that during
any performance, the men participants/dancers (leshiwo)
would display their dzoka (juju/charms) especially the
so-called “love charms” to seduce women. When
this music was brought to Togo and later Ghana in the late
19th century, its function changed. The southeastern Ewe
of Ghana, Togo and Benin now perform it for entertainment
during festivals and other social occasions. There are
five stages of Adzogbo dance ceremony: Gbefadede (announcement),
Adzokpadede (warm up), Tsifofodi (purification rites),
atsokla/kadodo (dance for the women) and atsia (main theatrical
display of drama, dance and virtuosity of dance skills
by men). This presentation features only atsokla, a “show
off” dance for women. Mirrors and other props are
used to tease, show or bluff during the performance.
AAsaadua was once a popular recreation musical type among
the Akan people of Ghana. Its performance is now
limited to some few communities in Ashanti and Brong
Ahafo regions. Like other popular entertainment music,
which evolves from the ingenuity of some veteran
traditional musicians, Asaadua started as a youth
recreational music for the men of the Akan tradition.
Babasiko is a recreational music and dance of the Southeastern
Anlo Ewe of Ghana, performed mostly at social gatherings; festivals
and funerals. Babasiko is flirtatious in character. Its characteristic
form is the strutting and bobbing up and down and a display of theatrical
elegance. The dancers portray courtship through movements of the
arms, eyes and total facial expression. Proposals of intimacy can
be seen accepted or rejected through bodily gestures.
Bademalor is a woman's dance drumming
from the Mahouka ethnic group. This dance
is performed at night after a hard day’s work
or at weddings and other social gatherings
Baamaaya, meaning "The river (valley) is wet", is the most popular social music and dance (recreational dance-drumming) among the inhabitants of Dagbon` of Northern Ghana. The history of this classic dance which started as a religious musical performance underscores the philosophy and culture of the Dagbamba/Dagomba towards women. Baamaaya now functions during funerals, festivals, and national day celebrations. From a processional dance-drumming that started slow and changed to fast tempo, Baamaaya has developed into a ceremony with at least nine distinct phases including Baamaaya Sochendi,, Sikolo, Kondoliya, Dakolikutooko, Abalimbee and others. Each of the phases has unique set of dance routines, movements and choreography. Instruments used include Gungon (a) master drum (s) - double headed cylindrical drum), Lunna (si), supporting drum(s) - hourglass shaped drums, Siyalim- container rattles and Wia- notched flute.
Bata is a traditionally
distinct ritual form of expression for Shango,
the Yoruba Deity of Thunder and Lightning. Bata
music and dance, mainly attached to this deity,
play an essential part in the ritual process of
the worship. It serves as an important communication
link between the deity and the devotees. In Bata
performances, the characteristics of Shango are
exhibited in the fast and rigorous movements.
Baamaaya, meaning, "The river (valley) is wet", is
the most popular social music and dance of the Dagbamba of
Northern Ghana. It began as a religious musical performance,
but now functions during funerals, festivals, national day
celebrations, and other social occasions. Dancing the Baamaaya
requires a lot of waist movement and twisting. The maiden name
for this music and dance, Tubankpeli, is now the main dance
movement. Originally, only men took part in the dance while
the women would sing, shout praises, and encourage the dancers.
Now, Baamaaya is for both genders.
The joy on achieving Independence in Ghana was expressed
in various ways by the entire populace of the country. This "new
life" envisaged, resulted in the emergence of several new musical
types. These new creations relating to the "freedom" to
be enjoyed through the said independence have roots in the popular
Ghanaian Highlife. Boboobo is one of such musical creations of the
period 1947 - 1957. Also known as Agbeyeye or Akpese; Boboobo originated
from Kpando in the Volta Region of Ghana through the ingenuity of
the late Francis Cudjoe Nuatro popularly called F.C. Boboobo is
presently the most popular social music and dance of the central
and northern Ewes of Ghana and Togo. It is generally performed at
funerals and other social occasions. Boboobo music and dance ceremony
is syncretic in character and it is performed principally in a circular
Boloye is a sacred mask dance-drumming of the Senoufo ethnic group from the northern
part of Côte d’Ivoire. Boloye appears in festivities marking the
end initiation rites for boys and girls. Today, because of its popularity, some
aspects of the dance are allowed in various social ceremonies. The name, “Panthers
Mask” is now associated with Boloye because of the acrobat movements and
costumes imitating panthers.
Djeme Don is a social dance drumming of Odienné from the northwestern
Mande region of Côte d’Ivoire. This is one of the original dances
associated with the jembe drum. It is presently performed at weddings, festivals
and other social gatherings.
A traditional ceremonial welcome performance from the Wassolon region of Guinea.
Fankani also is performed at the feast of Tabaski, a full moon festival
and other social occasions.
Fume Fume is the most recent of all Ga recreational musical types. Tetteh Addy
the eldest brother of the Mustapha Tettey Addy, Yakubu Addy and Obo Addy all
master drummers from Avenor, in Accra, Ghana created this musical type in the
late 1970s. Although a recreational dance drumming type, almost all the dance
movements and instrumental rhythmic patterns used in Fume Fume performance are
derived from traditional Ga religious dances such as Kple, Akom, Otu, Nana, Tigare,
etc. Fume fume is presently performed at life-cycle events, festivals, political
rallies and other social events.
Fontomfrom or Bomaa is the most complex of all musical
types of the Akan of Ghana. It is a series of warrior dances
that are performed in religious, ceremonial and social contexts
at the courts of chiefs.
Gadzo is a war-dance drama of the southeastern Anlo Ewe
of Ghana, which came from Notsie in the Republic of Togo.
Originally, this music and dance was performed after wars so that
could reenact battle scenes for those at home. Presently,
Gadzo is performed during ancestral stool festivals, Zikpuiza, state
Hogbetsotso, funerals of important chiefs and members of
the group, and by professional and amateur groups for entertainment.
Gahu music and dance ceremony emanated from the musical
traditions associated with marriage rites of the Yoruba people of
southwestern Nigeria, precisely, Badagri. It is now a recreational
music performed in some southeastern Ewe communities in Ghana, Togo
and Benin on occasions such as marriage and wedding ceremonies,
festivals, funerals and other social occasions. Gahu dance ceremony
is organized in four main movements or sections: ayodede/ayoo (greetings
and prayers to the ancestors), two vutsotso (main fast dance drumming),
interspersed with hatsiatsia (songs accompanied by bells and rattles
with limited dramatic dance movements).
Gota originated from the Kabre tribe of Benin, and was
introduced to the Southeastern Ewe in the early nineteenth century
through trade. Originally performed in Benin for their war god,
Gota is now performed as a recreational music and dance by the Southern
Gome is one of the oldest musical types performed by the
coastal Ga of Ghana, which was introduced by Accra fishermen from
the Fernando Po Islands in the early eighteenth century. Originally,
Gome was performed exclusively by fishermen after their expeditions
to celebrate their catch. Other occupational groups, especially
artisans, also eventually adopted this music and dance as a form
of entertainment. Presently, Gome is performed by all categories
of people-- young and old, male and female, on all social occasions.
Gue-Pelou, the tall mask, is seen at every celebration in any Mahouka
village. The mask serves as the mediator between the world of the living
and the spiritual world of the ancestors.
Gyewani, recreational music and dance is performed by
the people of Nyamebekyere in the Akwapim Traditional
Area of the Eastern Region of Ghana. It was one Christmas
day when some young boys in the village went to the
bamboo groove (which was situated near a river) to
cut some bamboo stalks for their annual traditional
fireworks. During the process of cutting, a piece
of the bamboo stalk fell into the river. After retrieving
this piece of bamboo from the river, one of the boys
struck it against a near by rock. The “melodious” sound
from this bamboo stem came as a surprise to all the
boys. Instead of the fireworks, they cut the bamboo
to various lengths, which they then used in making
music. This gave birth to the Gyewani Bamboo music
and dance. This type of music is also found in most
forest areas of Ghana.
Husago is one of the phases/movements in Yeve ritual performance. Yeve (also
known as Xebieso, Hú or Tohono) is a thunder God, a pantheon with
historical relations to the Yoruba Shango and Xevioso of Benin. The cult
is one of the most "powerful" and most secretive among others
that exists in West Africa. Yeve musical repertoire usually involves at
least seven or at most nine dance forms. Husago was the dance used by the
Southeastern Anlo-Ewe of Ghana during their migration from Notsie in the
Republic of Togo to their present settlements.
Jera was originally a religious music and dance of the
Kparibas in Dagbon, performed before and after hunting expeditions.
It is now performed by most Dagbamba villages in Northern Ghana
on diverse social occasions: festivals, funerals, and for recreation
after a hard day's work. The religious costume is however retained.
Kete is commonly found in the royal courts of traditional
Akan communities. It is performed in the courts of every chief whose
status entitles him to be carried in a palanquin. The music therefore
can be heard on state occasions and festivals. There are three parts
of the performance: Drum music, pipe interludes, and vocal counterpart
of the pipe tunes. At least, eight pieces are played during a performance.
These pieces are identified by the general name for the type of
drumming and dancing, by name of its usual context, function or
general character, by name commemorative of an event, or by name
indicative of the participants. Adaban also called Topre is used
when the chief has to perform the ceremonial "shooting dance".
Apente is used mostly for processions.
Kpanlongo is the most recent of all Ga recreational dance
drumming musical types, an offshoot of “Gome, Oge, Kolomashie,
and Konkoma.” Kpanlongo emerged during the wake of Ghana’s
Independence as a dance-drumming musical type for entertainment
in Accra mostly for the youth. This music is therefore described
as, “the dance of the youth”. Kpanlongo is presently
performed at various social and political events in Ghana.
A social dance-drumming ceremony from Conakry, Guinea.
Kpatsa is the principal traditional entertainment music
and dance of the Dangme of Ghana, in West Africa. The dance itself
involves sideways and forward shuffling movements, making use of
short, brisk steps with the body slightly bent. The dance steps
move the dancer either diagonally or backwards. With arms bent in
front of the body, the right leg steps in concert with the movement
of the right arm while the left leg steps at the same time as the
left arm; while one foot remains flat on the ground, the heel of
the other foot is lifted off the ground.
Klama music and dance is associated with puberty rites
of the Krobo of Ghana. The celebration of this music and dance highlights
the "outdooring” of girls who have undergone intensive
tutoring in mother craft. Klama is now performed on various social
Kinatsu is a warriors/hunters dance of the Konkonba tribe
of Northern Ghana. Although it began as a warriors/hunters musical
performance, it now functions as a harvest dance during funerals,
festivals, national day celebrations, and other social occasions.
Kundum music and dance, which is performed as part of the
annual Kundum festival of the Ahanta and Nzema people of Ghana originated
in a situation of famine and hunger around 1700. Although traditionally
a harvest music and dance, Kundum can now be seen on all social
occasions. Kundum is performed in 2/3 sections: The first is domo,
a slow movement, in which dancers evoke beauty, majesty and gracefulness
with stately postures of tilted bodies. The second section ewulalå (literally
meaning "pumping") inspires fast and masculine movements.
The third section edudule consists of vigorous torso-to-torso movements,
strutting movements of the body. The act of "plucking" in
the fields is dramatized in the Kundum dance.
A dance performed by the Kasena Nankeni people of Paga and Navrongo
in the Upper East Region of Ghana. In the olden days, it was performed
at funerals but today, even though it still maintains this function,
it can also be seen on most social occasions excluding marriage ceremonies.
Movements in Nagla reflect the spirit of togetherness.
Wedding music and dance of the Dagbamba women of Northern
Ghana. This music is performed exclusively by women in honor of
a new bride. Songs used in this celebration relate to topical, human,
marriage, and other social issues.
Sanga is one of the recreational dance drumming of the
Ashanti-Akan. Instruments used in this ensemble and their specific
rhythmic motives suggest northern Ghana, Dagbamba origins. The dance
may be called a “chase”. Its characteristic form is
the strutting and bobbing up and down and a display of theatrical
elegance. The women dancers wear bustles to attract and at the same
time tease the men dancers.
Sikyi is a recreational music and dance of the youth of
Ashanti. It originated in the 1920s but became very popular around
Ghana’s Independence in 1957. It is performed in the vein
of Kpanlongo of the Ga of Accra and Boboobo of the Northern
Ewe of the Volta Region of Ghana. Sikyi is seen principally at social
gatherings where the youth solely express themselves in
It is flirtatious in character. Its characteristic form
is the strutting and bobbing up and down and a display of theatrical
Sinte is a dance drumming performed during festivals by the Nalou who live around
the Boke region of Guinea. Krins, “wooden slit drums” sometimes played
by three percussionists on each drum were the original instruments used to accompany
this dance. Jembes and dunduns are now used to perform the instrumental parts
formerly played on the krins.
Takai is a royal dance of the Dagbamba chiefs and princes.
It is performed on festive occasions such as the annual Damba festival,
political rallies, and durbar of chiefs. Danced only by men, Takai
movements involve pivot turns, torso swings, and stamping to the
rhythm of the Luna and gungon, the only drums that are used in this
Triba is performed by the Laduma who live in the Boke and Boffa regions of Guinea.
Triba was once a dance performed in honor of a great dancer called Triba. The
dance was later associated with puberty rites for young adults during which mothers
and their daughters would dance together. Triba is presently performed as a mixed
dance– drumming by both men and women during festivals and other social
Yeve is believed to be a "Stone or Thunder God" that falls
from the sky during or after a rainstorm. This religious
society is one of the most powerful and secretive among cults in
Ewe territories of West Africa. Among the Anlo-Ewe, it
is also known as Xebieso, Hu or Tohono. Yeve has strong historical
the Yoruba Shango deity of Nigeria and Fon Xevieso of Benin.
Yeve music and dance is distinct from other Ewe musical types because
of its general structure. It is considered a suite of seven
dance forms or movements. Each movement is related to specific
phases of worship. The major dance forms or movements include: Sovu,
Sogbadze, Afovu and Adavu. Dances from Guinea and Senegal.
Dibon is played to accompany farmers returning from a long
day of work in the fields among the Malinke of Guinea, West Africa.
The rhythm comes from the calls of a particular species of birds.
These calls help them locate each other in the morning after a night’s
In the Guinean regions of Macenta and Balandougou, Kassa
music is performed at life cycle celebrations (baptism, circumcisions,
and weddings). Sofa is the Malinke term for hunter and the dance
is a tribute to them. Some of the dance movements are symbolic gestures
to these important members of Mande culture.
Soko is a Manlinke initiation music and dance from the
Faranah region in Guinea performed during the months preceding the
male rite of circumcision. Boys, who will be circumcised, traditionally
will have their heads shaved during the performance.
A welcome ceremonial music of the Malenke people from the border region between
Guinea and Mali in West Africa. This music is performed during traditional festivals
such as the Ramadan, Tabaseki, weddings and other social occasions.
Wali shows work dances that are quite popular in the regions
of Guinea in West Africa. It is performed in two sections,
Koukou and Triba. Koukou is a Malinke dance from the Guinean highlands,
and is a work dance for young men and women. Triba is shared
the Landouma of mid-Guinea; it is performed to celebrate
their rice harvest.
Sabar is the primary form of drumming of the Wolof of
Senegal. Traditionally, Sabar drumming was used in religious ceremonies,
however, in modern settings, Sabar is used mainly for various dance-drumming
events. The Sabar ensemble includes the m'bung m'bung, sabar n'der,
lambe and talmbat gorong drums. This arrangement demonstrates the two
basic musical structures used in Sabar drumming "bak" and "mbalax".
Bak, which is characterized by unison drumming phrases, is performed
as introductory or bridges in a performance. Mbalax, which uses multi-layered
rhythmic patterns and improvisation, is used for the dance.
Zahouly is a mask of the Dje La Lou. It is used in a traditional mask dance-drumming
ceremony by the Guru (Gouro) ethnic group from Côte d’Ivoire, West
Dances from East, Central and Southern Africa
A dance from the Giriama and Digo people of the Coastal
Region of Kenya. This harvest dance is performed during happy celebrations
of successful community achievements and bumper harvest. The dance movements
originate from the style of grinding millet, which emphasize the shoulder
and waist with special accentuation of the upper torso.
This dance is from the Kakamega people of the Luhyia
ethnic group of western province of Kenya. It is performed mainly during
festivities and ceremonies associated with wedding, child naming, bull
fight and commemoration of new homes. Most of the songs that are used
emphasize and praise the heroes and leaders of the communities.
Dances from Zimbabwe
Mbende (Shona word for “mole” was regarded as a symbol of
fertility, sexuality and family), This dance drumming also known as
Jerusarem comes from the Zezuru people of western Mashobaland of Zimbabwe.
Originally, Mbende was performed exclusively during the marriage ceremony
of a chief’s daughter but it is now open to all men and women
of marrying age. The dance movements are “sexual in nature”;
mimicking courtship and sexual encounters but at the
same time exhibiting sexual prowess of both men and women
Baakisimba: Sematimba Ne Kikwabanga and Olutalu
Royal music for the Kabaka (king) of the Buganda of Uganda.
Two types of log xylophones are found among the Baganda of Uganda and
are played in the enclosure of the Kabaka's court. The amadinda is a
twelve -key xylophone and the akadinda has seventeen or twenty-two keys.
The akadinda is strictly performed for the King (Kabaka). In range,
the akadinda extends beyond the amadinda, especially in the upper register.
Three musicians play on the amadinda whilst the akadinda involves three
to six players. Both xylophone styles are based on interlocking melodies
that are performed in octave duplications. The individual parts are
often relatively simple, but their combination yields music of extreme
complexity and beauty. Accompanying the xylophones are: Endere (bamboo
flute), Endigidi (one string fiddle), Ensasi (two container rattles),
Empunyi, Engalibi, Nankasa and Embutu (drums).
A contemporary presentation of the hunters' music and dance from Eastern Tanzania
incorporating variety of props and other visual elements from the Southern Region
Music by Paschal Yao Younge
A composition for axatsewo (gourd rattles). This
piece utilizes rhythmic motives, themes and structures from traditional
of the Ewes from Ghana, Togo and Benin. The presentation
combines, drumming, singing and movement.
Azagunogawo (The Divine Master Drummers)
To the African, the word "music" involves all the performing
arts combined in a very systematic and organized manner as a unique public
spectacle. To the African therefore, the drum, the voice and the dance
body speak the same language and the individual with exceptional abilities
to teach and perform all these cognate art forms is known as Azaguno,
which means a "master drummer" among the Ewe people of Ghana,
Togo Benin. We call ourselves Azaguno because we fall into this category
of very special "master drummers". This contemporary work therefore
highlights our unique name, nature and attributes.
You can only see the drums dance, the body talks and
the voice drum in this encounter.
A 36-drum percussion piece, which is based on Boboobo
and Guagunaco dance drumming. Boboobo is the
most popular social music and dance of the central and
northern Ewe of Ghana and Togo. Guaguanco
is a moderate to fast style rumba. Rumba is the
word used for a group of related music and dance
styles in Cuba. The word
is also sometimes
used to refer to a Latin-influenced ballroom
dance style that is completely different than authentic
Cuban rumba. Rumba can also refer to an African
style of pop music developed recently with Latin
This piece highlights some of the dance drumming
movements of Atsiagbekor, a war dance type
of the Anlo-Ewe of Ghana and also incorporating features of
other symbolic dances from Togo, Benin, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
This piece highlights some of the dance drumming types from across
sub-Saharan Africa. Aza (festival) is one of the unique ways most African
celebrate life. Azaguno presents this finale as a tribute to all the
Interwoven textures for Eight Dondo (Talking drums) of
the Dagbamba of Ghana.
A call used to find someone lost in the bush in Australia
Cooee is an exploration of certain indigenous movements,
ideas and philosophies from both Africa and Australia. The creation
is based on the choreographer's research and experiences in both the
Volta and Greater Accra regions of Ghana, and the states of New South
Wales and Victoria in Australia.
African musical types are varied but have a lot
in common. Coexistence explores these similarities from six ethnic
groups in East and West Africa. The arrangement
is based on Nankasa of Buganda; Duoduoba of Guinea; Takai, Fontomfrom, Adowa,
and Agbadza all of Ghana
An exciting blend of West and South African dance
movements with African American step dancing, accompanied by
Anlo Ewe style drumming. The music also incorporates sections
for multiple bells, Caribbean, Latin and Senegalese Jembe style
A multiple percussion piece for seven bongos, kpanlongo
drums, Atsimevu and several cowbells
Solo Work; Original Music: Africa Meets Asia; Specially
composed for Dr. Zelma Badu-Younge's Choreography, Performed
on Feb 4-5, Studio 303, Montreal, QU Canada.
Polyrhythm is a composition for seven Gakogui
(double bells). This piece is based on selected
rhythmic themes (time cycles) used in West African
Echoes from Gabada, Boboobo, Kpatsa, Gota, Agbadza, and Yeve, all traditional
dances from West Africa are heard throughout the piece.
3-Movement African Suite for Pan-African Chamber
This 3-movement piece highlights the various
timbres and the four acoustic categories of
instruments: idiophones, membranophones, chordophones, and
are used in contemporary African music traditions. The First Movement is
based on the court music of the Akan people
of Ghana, the Second movement, for seven
double bells, is derived from the rhythmic themes of Gabada, Boboobo, Kpatsa,
Gota Agbadza, and Yeve, all traditional dances from West Africa and the
Third Movement, Zong be nye rei (The Blind cannot see), is
based on the harvest
music, Bawa, from the Upper West Region of
RhythmKeepers is a reconstruction work for
African, Tap and Irish dance forms. This
choreography explores the various techniques,
movements and styles of
three varied contemporary dance forms accompanied by Dagomba/Dagbamba
Serenity ... Backside is a fusion of West African,
South African, Ballet, Modern, Brazilian, Caribbean
and tap dance techniques
Totobli Metrov #1
Seven movement solo suite for Atopani Drums
and 8 bells. Atopani or Atumpan is the most
used drum at the courts of chiefs in Ghana
It is used to announce the arrival of chiefs at gatherings, play
appellations, send messages with burden texts and for dance drumming.
is therefore popularly known as the "Talking drums".
Totobli Metrov' #1 is a composition based on various rhythmic
themes used in the dance drumming of Adowa, Fontomfrom,
Akpoka, Vuga and Agbadza of the Akan and Ewe of Ghana incorporating
sections of spoken texts and movement.
A contemporary duet for one percussionist and
a dancer. This work explores rhythmic concepts,
structures, and themes; and
Vuga Prelude 1- 4
Multiple percussion piece for six bomaa, atumpan,
paso, adukurogya and dawuro. This is an adaptation
of the Akan court music,
the most complex of all Akan musical types. It is a series
of warrior dances, which
are performed to show the prowess of a valiant fighter
using symbolic gestures to mime combat motifs.
A new contemporary African music and dance
dedicated to President Roderick J. McDavis
of Ohio University on his
visit to Ghana.
This will be
the North American premiere of this work.