TRADITIONAL Ghanaian music and dance groups continue to showcase their skills to the public as part of their contribution to the 50th impendence anniversary celebrations.
Their input, which mostly involves performances in the communities, is aimed at reminding Ghanaians of the need to appreciate and respect their traditional and culture.
The Nkrabeah Dance Ensemble had its turn last week at the St. John’s Preparatory School in Achimota, a suburb of Accra, with a performance of a variety of traditional Ghanaian music and dance pieces.
Cheered on by the students and the general public, the group showcased pieces such as Atsiagbekor, Adowa, Kete, Sikyi, Bamaya, Nagla, Jera and Wende, a traditional/contemporary piece choreographed by the ensemble.
Led by Emmanuel Yawson-Tengey, the young dancers of Nkrabeah Dance Ensemble charmed the audience with colourful costumes, the type seen at carnivals in Brazil and other parts of the West Indies. Indeed, with dances, rhythms and songs flowing in unison, the group momentarily succeeded in transporting the audience to a distant Ghanaian village.
Formerly a resident group at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, the ensemble took the mostly young crowd by storm with Wende, a piece that calls on mankind to leave in peace and harmony while stressing the need to respect and tolerance for all traditions.
Accompanied by slow drumming, bells and shakers, the dancers swing their arms as they move in circles while legs fly in capoera style kicks and thrusts. With some of the costumes embellished with cowry shells and beads, the group engaged the audience with inspirational solos that possess fine blends of traditional and contemporary movements.
Formed in 1994, Nkrabea Dance Ensemble has performed throughout the country and has participated in Yosakoi (Japanese Dance Competition), KIDDAFEST and other programmes. It is scheduled to participate in the 2007 edition of the Cultures of the World Festival to be held in Gannat, France.