When President Barack Obama and his family visited Ghana, they were entertained by the Saakumu Dance Troupe. And, tonight, Durango will get a taste of the presidential treatment when the West African troupe visits the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
The Word “saakumu” means “traditions,” and the company bases its aesthetic on traditional styles combined with contemporary forms. The repertoire includes a range of spiritual, ceremonial and recreational genres.
The show is expressive and highly participatory with instrumentation such as the African xylophone, drums, calabash water drums and the praise singing (talking drums) of the Akan and Dagbamba people of Ghana.
Saakumu is led by Artistic Director Bernard Woma, who is also the founder and director of the Dagara Music and Arts Center in Accra, Ghana. The Obamas were not the first dignitaries to enjoy the troupe’s work, as Woma’s troupe also has performed for luminaries such as President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II.