The National Dance Company of Ghana last week presented a stunning rendition of ‘Asipim’, a piece that fuses various traditional Ghanaian dances at the National Theatre in Accra.
Directed by Nii Tete Yartey, the performance choreographed F. Nii Yartey and Prof. C. K. Ladzekpo was a fascinating diversity of movements and a subtle exploration of interactions between conventional and modern dances while revealing the significance of both.
“It is fascinating to see a wide variety of our traditional dance pieces theatrically put together in a manner that vividly showcases unity in diversity,” said Yaw Opoku Addo, a poet in Accra.
“This is a show with rhythm – the singing, dancing and drumming converged and rose to the roof. It was an evening of spectacular and fast-moving scenes,” said Elvia Hayes, a volunteer from the United Kingdom.
An allegory about the struggle for leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa, ‘Asipim’ is interspersed with ritualistic dances that equally highlighted the issue of supernatural battles. Undeniably, it is rich in musical and dramatic nuance and actually rises to the scale of the set design.
With a near-bare but outstanding stage design of a king’s stool and giant umbrellas alongside over two dozen dancers and musicians, the elaborate choreography presented bodies crafted by years of training engaged in smooth, swift movements.
It was clear the choreographers had deeply steeped themselves in the language of dance and brought some eloquence to their work that signified the unleashing of a new gestural vocabulary.
The performance formed part of Ghana Theatre Festival2016 which ended last week at the National Theatre.