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Volume 79

Dance group gives students a taste of traditonal African life

Published (Volume 78, No. 20)

One of the programs presented for Black History Month was African Dance, which was performed at the Field House on Wed. Feb. 22nd.
Bantaba Dance Company, a traditional African Dance and percussion ensemble, presented the performance, which consists of dances and rhythms highlighting various aspects of African cultures. The performance included the essence of womanhood, the celebration of the individuals and various rites of passage.

The Bantaba Dance Company of Memphis consists of teachers, professionals and students from local colleges and high schools.
“Bantaba is not just made up of dancers and drummers,” said Corey Davis, co-founder and musical director of Bantaba. “We operate as a family.”

People were greeted by the smell of ethnic incense. This smell made it seem as if the people in the audience were in some African village.
Before they performed, every member of the Bantaba made a circle and held hands to pray for nature, each African country and various other things. The audience also became one of Bantaba’s family members and prayed with them.

The performers were dressed in African traditional dress and performed using their entire bodies.

There were seven different shaped drams and each dram played seven different sounds. With these sounds, six women would dance.
Each performance was based on the Africans’ daily lifestyles. The audience enjoyed them and were laughing at every story.

At the end of the performance, Bantaba dancers told the African traditional dance steps to the UTM students. The audience gave a standing ovation for the Bantaba Dance Group.