By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Africana Dance Ensemble last Saturday delighted dance lovers at the Alliance Française in Accra with a curious blend of creative and traditional dance pieces from Ghana and other African countries.
In an intense performance that marked the activities of MusicXchange Ghana (MXC), the group showcased a dramatic fusion of “Atsiagbekor”, “Fumefume”, “Yve”, “Akli” (Guinea), “Zulu Warrior Dances” (South Africa) with creative dances such as “Africa Must Unite” and “Korokoro”.
With a host of traditional African instruments, the ensemble delighted the audience with visual originality, technical brilliance and emotional potency as they moved in unison while recalling ancient ritualistic dances and songs.
Clad in colourful costumes, the group vividly brought into sharp focus, the beauty, richness, diversity and variety of traditional African culture as they delivered this well layered performance with style, grace and effortless ease.
“It’s always refreshing to see exceptional blending of dance and music from other cultures – it magnifies the fact that there is beauty in multiplicity while reminding mankind of the need to respect all cultures and traditions,” said Yaa Ampomah, a dancer in Accra.
Later in the evening, dondo virtuoso, Mohamed Alidu’s charmed the audience with a cool synthesis of elements of reggae, highlife and other styles that are fast paced and driven by strong percussion. Undeniably, Dagomba rhythms take centre stage and tend to grab the attention of the listener in sustained manner.
Performing with jazzy spontaneity through firmly intertwined arrangements of songs that have passionate content and logical meaning, the five piece band transported the audience into several directions of the world with a climax in the Northern regional capital of Tamale.
MXC is an international non-profit organization that supports positive change through the power of music and has successfully executed events in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi and Aflao.
In 2016, MXC released a compilation album of traditional Ghanaian music featuring a diverse selection of artists and cultural troupes from around the country. The album was sold through a crowd funding campaign aimed at raising funds to support various projects in music education, music therapy and music production in Ghana.
MXC has equally supported the following projects – drum and dance classes for students at the Akropong School for the Blind, Trinity Yard School and Berekuso Music Project as well as an audio engineering workshop at the Music Department, University of Ghana (Legon).