High-octane dance display from West Africa
"What does the 'D' in WOMAD stand for?" That's a popular question round these parts. It is, of course, 'D' for 'dance', an aspect of the festival upheld this time around by, among others, Ballet Nimba. If you thought ballet was all about pirouettes and pas de deux performed at half-speed, let these six dancers recalibrate your preconceptions. This is an energetic, at times highly acrobatic display of West African dance, a discipline somewhat cast into shadow by the spotlight shone on the region's celebrated melody-makers. Not that Ballet Nimba neglect the musical element. The calibre of its accompanying musicians equals that of its dancers, whether delivering furious percussive work-outs or embroidering their compositions with the undulating melodies of the balafon and Fulani flute. Although drawn from several countries across West Africa, Ballet Nimba's focus is on recounting the mythologies and history of Guinea through choreography. We guarantee it'll be the most frenetic and physical history lesson you've ever sat in on.
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2012)
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