Tuesday, February 12, 2008
What is KULU MELE?
In case you couldn't think it up, it's the name of the African dance ensamble located in Philadelphia, and touring with their shows all over US. They specialize in West African and Cuban dance. We went to see their show on Sunday.
It was one of the greatest performances (not comparing it to Broadway) on a local level we have been to so far. As I tend to be a bit skeptical to wonderful descriptions of the program on the pamphlets and fliers, I still decided to give it a shot. And there are NO regrets here, not a bit!
First, the girls had participated in a workshop before the show. They made paper African masks, with jewels and raffia. Leonka did a fantastic job doing her coloring. A few volunteers came up to her and were amazed at her ability to do such a nice mask. Yep, you could tell we do a lot of hand-on activities with the girls at home.
The workshop took an hour. The lady talked about the history of mask making in Africa, and when the kids got busy there was African music playing in the background to give extra inspiration to little artists.
The best part was when they announced that those who had participated in a workshop would get to sit on the front seat, right by the stage! Wow! It was great! I kept on looking at my girls' faces. Ivana loved it to pieces, and Leona's mouth would not close, and her eyes were rounder than round!
Kulu Mele's show was fantastic, with live drummers, singers and very dynamic dances. In the middle of the performance all the kids from a workshop were invited on the stage to show off their colorful masks and dance to the drum beat. Ivana was jumping excitedly, Leona was holding my hand, and then gave a nice bow on the stage after showing her mask.
I left my camera at home, so I don't have any pictures of the girls on the stage, but today I asked them to pose for me so that we can blog about it!
I've never sat so close to the stage, except that one time when I took Mirek to see "The Death of the Salesman" on Broadway. Let me tell you something! Those tattoos on dancers' legs, callouses on their toes, and sweat dripping down from male dancers' naked chests were a bit distracting in the beginning, but than I was submerged into their dancing and totally stopped paying attention. A few minutes later I was visiting west African tribe...