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JANUARY 28, 2014


Award-winning African dance troupe to perform at Three Rivers

UPDATE 3/3/14: Due to inclement weather, this performance has been cancelled.

UPDATE 2/10/14: This event has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 4 at 6 p.m. in the Tinnin Fine Arts Center.

UPDATE 2/6/14: Due to inclement weather, this performance has been cancelled.

UPDATE 2/3/14: Due to inclement weather, this performance has been rescheduled for Friday, February 7 at 12 noon in the Bess Student Center.

The Saakumu Dance Troupe, a world-touring performance group out of Ghana, Africa, will perform at Three Rivers College for Black History Month on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Tinnin Fine Arts Center. The performance is free to the public.

Led by master musician Bernard Woma, the troupe (whose name means "Tradition") performs traditional music and dance from across Africa, combined with contemporary pieces inspired by African culture. Designated as one of Ghana's official performing groups in 2007, Saakumu has performed extensively across the United States and West Africa.

"We're extremely pleased to host the Saakumu Dance Troupe at Three Rivers for Black History Month," said Hillary Speer, Coordinator of Student Engagement at Three Rivers. "They're a world-class group that's had an immense cultural impact across America. We're looking forward to seeing them perform live for our community."

Saakumu's performances are drawn from the spiritual, ceremonial, and recreational music of West Africa, with pieces drawn from the tribal cultures of Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin. Woma then blends the traditional music and dance forms with contemporary elements to create a unique experience that connects to the traditional while retaining a modern relevance.

"If we understand each other's culture, we'll understand each other's situation...In Africa in music, every mistake is a new style," said Woma. "My focus is preserving traditional music, in contrast to the Afro-pop, which blends New and Old World styles. Afro-pop has its own language."
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