By John Owoo
A number of music and dance groups treated a huge crowd to captivating performances during the last day of the 2015 edition of Tuumatu Festival, which was recently held at James Town, a suburb of Accra.
With completely different approaches to composition and choreography, the groups severally performed purified traditional / contemporary music and dance pieces that have been skillfully laced with conventional movements.
Without doubt, the performances revealed a wealth of talent that abound in James Town and its environs as group after group conspicuously revealed its artistic creations to art lovers and residents of this sprawling neighbourhood.
Unik Afro Dance Company delighted the audience with a contemporary piece based on the day-to-day activities of the residents of James Town. Accompanied by live music from a traditional orchestra, they dancers moved in unison as subtle, fluid and vigorous movements recounted the story of this popular suburb.
Sasa Nzeri, a neo traditional music group performed a warm repertoire that was sustained through a variety of wooden instruments that managed to stretch traditional rhythms into their contemporary extensions.
With a variety of wind instruments, Weku Kronkron, a youthful band that has been creating waves in the city, charmed the crowd with a cool combination of traditional and western instruments, which created sounds that emphasized the beauty of fusion.
Music by Indigenous Afrique Rhythms was supplemented by acrobats and footballers, who simulated a football match on stage while Burkina Boys, a band comprising Burkinabe musicians resident in Accra treated the crowd to traditional Burkinabe sounds.
Accompanied by local dancers, Australia based dancer / choreographer Kofi Yeboah thrilled the crowd with “Evolution”, a thirty-minute dance piece that was characterized by an elegant step between traditional and contemporary movements.
Earlier, over two hundred primary school kids drawn from various schools and communities around James Town, a suburb of Accra, last week had their turn to participate in the 2015 edition of Tuumatu Arts Festival.
Full of enthusiasm, they re-enacted games that have been abandoned in recent years. These include racing with car toys fashioned out of discarded tins, car tyres and a hundred meter dash with cloths tied to their waists.
With music playing at the background, they were introduced to toy making through the use traditional techniques with discarded and recyclable objects while sensitizing them on the benefits to the environment.
Other games including hopscotch, flying of kites, playing of Oware and engaged the kids while others took part in dance, modeling and poetry competitions, which attracted loud cheers, catcalls and applause.
Lucky Lartey, a Ghanaian dancer and choreographer based in Australia, organized Tuumatu, which is gradually becoming a regular feature of the arts calendar of James Town.