Two dancers lay motionless on the immaculate carpet at the Goethe-Institut in Accra – they move in absolute unison as they calmly yet fiercely showcase the beauty of physically challenged and able-bodied artistes working in harmony.
It’s a performance of “Nkabom” (Unity), a 55 minute piece that ended the month long Celebrating Accra Arts Festival (CAAF) – and the group on stage is Dance Factory – undoubtedly the leading mixed able dance company in Ghana.
Choreographed by Frank Sam with support from Mark Lomotey, the three physically challenged and two able-bodied dancers appear to move in a cohesive but disjointed manner in spite of the high degree of harmonization that characterize the piece.
Undeniably, they stay close to the floor as they flow from one scene to the other while contrasting their limbs. In the process, the physically challenged dancers create peculiar, geometric and sometimes odd movements that transform the human form into an incredible machine.
Accompanied by carefully selected music, the stage is engulfed with emotion as dancers struggled in the nonfigurative with expressions of love, peace and unity. Sequence after sequence effortlessly move into a series of undisturbed, calculated and symphonic movements thereby drawing cheers from the audience.
Sam allows all five performers absolute space to express themselves thereby ensuring equality on stage. Indeed, refreshing solos and duets intersperse this suspense packed piece that is set to delight the eyes of Ghanaian dance lovers in some regional capitals.
Despite problems with lighting, sound and editing, “Nkabom” is a piece with an enormous muscle capable of spreading the message of the physically challenged while encouraging further collaborations of this nature in the arts.
Earlier, the Tete Adehyemma Dance Theatre entertained the crowd with a hilarious dance drama titled “By The Road”, which deals with the story of a young man who decides to relocate to Europe by road and the consequences that befall him.
DANIDA, Ghana Denmark Cultural Fund, Danish Embassy in Accra, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Goethe-Institut, British Council and the Alliance Française sponsored CAAF 2014, which was organized by the Institute for Music and Development.