The same weekend that I went to the church service, a few of us headed to a local dance presentation on Saturday. We had heard about it from other volunteers and wanted to check it out to both get more of a feeling of the local culture and to do something that wasn’t very expensive.

We headed there a bit early, since we had heard that there was a market next to it that was only open before the show. As it was a very small market, we had quite some time to kill before the presentation actually started.

But first, we needed to get our tickets. This was a bit of a challenge, because we had also heard, that as volunteers, we could get in for half price. Of course the woman selling the tickets didn’t want to honor this at first, but we eventually convinced her to give us the reduced rate.

Even after that, we had some time to wait, and we did so as the only people in the theatre.

20150914-174419.jpg

Even as the performers were warming up, nobody else was coming in, making us wonder if we were going to have a private show.

Eventually, a few other folks wandered in, and interestingly, continued to wander in throughout most of the show.

Since I don’t know the significance of any of the dances, I am just including some of the best pictures below.

20150914-175209.jpg

20150914-175432.jpg

20150914-175623.jpg

20150914-175643.jpg

20150914-175811.jpg

20150914-175830.jpg

20150914-175848.jpg

I wish I could add commentary as to the meaning of each of the dances we saw, but nothing like that was provided. I did find this link (
http://kamangadance.blogspot.fr/2009/08/description-and-demonstration-of_27.html) but I am not sure if any of what is described matches what we saw.

However, I do want to share one particular story. Shortly after this dancer picked up the pot in his teeth as shown below, he lay down on the stage and put the pot on his stomach. Then another dancer took a very large pole and slammed it into the pot. Later, during our village tour we would see that this was a step in converting corn into nshima.

20150914-180120.jpg

The next part though is the most interesting as the other dancers came into the audience to get “volunteers” to perform the same act. And somehow, probably since I was wearing my chetenga, I was selected. I tried to get out of it, but my “friends” wouldn’t let me and I wound up on stage hammering this large pole into the pot. I tried to be gentle as it was a very strange feeling.

I don’t have any photos of me in action for this as one of the folks I was with filmed the event on my camera as a video, and I can’t add that to this blog. But I do have this one taken as I was heading towards the stage.

20150914-174929.jpg

Also of interest, was a small girl who was doing her best to imitate the dancers. I am sure I couldn’t do it as well as her, as the isolations that they do in this style of dance are remarkable. I have no idea how they can shake their butts like that without moving anything else. I guess, if you learn it as a kid, you just know how to do it.

Advertisements