By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
A thought provoking dance piece that illuminates and addresses communal and categorized intricacies in Ghana last week charmed a cool audience at the Alliance Française in Accra with movements that seesawed between humour and empathy.
Titled “Dance Time”, the dancers managed to incorporate futuristic and innovative imagery while allowing freedom of artistic processes as well as spatial formations, which reflect troubled communities and marginalized groups to inundate the stage.
Choreographed by Felix Ofosu Dompreh, the dancers appear to be suffocating while sliding together alongside hand-to-hand combats, which denote inequalities and reliance instead of collaboration and partnership.
Undeniably, the language of the choreographer is easily spoken and quite streamlined – and it proudly presented itself through young talented dancers whose bodies have been crafted by an act they have so gracefully mastered.
“Unquestionably, Dompreh is one of the most promising new crop of choreographers who have emerged on the Ghanaian dance circuit – indeed, the future of contemporary dance in Ghana is definitely going to be interesting”, said Nii Tackie Commey, a dance enthusiast in Accra.
Set to live music from traditional Ghanaian instruments including xylophones, bells and calabash drums, the dancers move in unison with arms, hands and fingers in constant motion that culminates in complicated but highly expressive movements.
Alongside an effective integration of Afro-revolutionary representations that direct ones imaginations into a space of creative thought, the piece equally exhibits simple movements that are not technically challenging for the dancers.
Nevertheless, the piece draws from this simplicity to create a powerfully dark, focused atmosphere alongside energetic and graceful movements that are devoted to the theme, which reflects on the intricacies of the world.
Dancers from the Noyam African Dance Institute in Dodowa (near Accra), opened the evening with “Joobee”, a short piece choreographed by Akwei Addotey, which was characterized by subtle, vigorous and nimble movements.