West African dance troupe to perform at Fredonia

West African dance troupe to perform at Fredonia

The Saakumu Dance Troupe, a leading traditional/contemporary dance and music group in Ghana, West Africa, will give a public performance on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m., in Rosch Recital Hall at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Repertoire of the group, led by Bernard Woma, master of the Ghanaian “gyil” xylophone, encompasses spiritual, ceremonial and recreational genres and contemporary African dance forms. Their music and dance – described as joyful, expressive and highly participatory – features the African xylophone, drums, calabash water drums and the praise singing of the Akan and Dagbamba people of Ghana.

Performances by the group, whose name means traditions, are given at important government functions as well as national and international music and dance festivals throughout Ghana and West Africa.

Fredonia’s Percussion Guild of the Student Association is hosting Saakumu’s campus visit, which will be a homecoming for Woma. He formerly taught in the School of Music and is a Fredonia graduate.

Also part of the evening is a dinner at 6 p.m., open to the public, in the Horizon Room in the Williams Center. The menu will include traditional dishes, such as Joloff chicken and rice, Red Red (rice and beans) with hot sauce, plantains and a dessert platter of tropical fruits. Dinner tickets must be purchased by Jan. 16.

A combo ticket (dinner and performance) is $20 for the general public and available at the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center. Tickets for the performance only are $5. Fredonia students wanting a combo ticket may purchase one from the Fredonia Ticket Office, or use points by presenting their FREDCard in person at the ticket office. Students with identification may attend the performance only for free, but they must have a ticket, available at the ticket office, for admission.

The dinner and performance are both general admission events.

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