The Ghana Dance Ensemble relocates the city of Bukom to the National Theatre on the 14th and 15th of March 2014 in the most aesthetically captivating and elating fashion not seen on our local scene in a very long time.
Bukom is a suburb of Accra, a well known fishing community renowned for producing prolific boxers of international acclaim; Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey and the famous boxer cum philosopher, Braimah Isaac Kamoko ( aka Bukom Banku) to mention a few. The city exudes authentic Ga culture with a healthy blend of modernization and tradition. Kpanlogo, kolomashie, gome are a few of the dance repertoire found in Bukom. Contemporary dance types such as Azonto and Al’Qaida also reign in this town.
The socio economic landscape of the city seems quite unfavorable as the majority of the population are either old folks or not highly educated in the formal sense hence forcing most of them to settle for low skill low pay jobs resulting in high crime rates and teenage pregnancy incidents. There seem to be a major neglect by major stakeholder in the community’s development. A major reason the Ghana Dance Ensemble felt the need to relocate the entire city to the National Theatre.
After a heartfelt welcome with the pulsating rhythms of Atsea from the Volta region and Jera from the Northern region the curtain lifts elegantly to grant the audience a peek into Bukom. The dance-drama unfolds relating the story of Amartey, a victim of a broken home and premature exposure to social vices and gang activities or “streetism” if you may, he becomes deviant preferring gangs to school. One gang raid goes south and he loses his mother in the process. That leads to a turning point in his life: he vows to take responsibility for his own future and make a positive impact on his society. He enlists in the security service and eventually succeeds at breaking major gang operation in the city.
Bukom, artfully choreographed by Prof. Nii Yartey and directed by Nii-Tete Yartey, the artistic director of the ensemble, strives to inspire individuals in communities to take their destinies in their own hands, as it were, and become the change they seek. The performers, elegantly costumed leaves no doubt about their roles or origin. They exude the typical verve of the jama atmosphere that characterizes the lively and youthful Ga recreational scenes. There were ample moments of hearty laughs, voluntary applause and a sense of finality and elation when curtains came down gracefully.
Founded in 1962 under the directorship of Professor Emeritus J. H Nketia the Ghana Dance Ensemble (National Dance Company) has the mandate to help preserve and develop Ghana’s traditional dance forms and also develop a pool of professional dancers to strengthen the cultural and artistic image of Ghana through dance both at home and abroad. The Ghana Dance Ensemble plans to liven up our stage with captivating and inspiring performances throughout the year. Tiqeet will bring you updates. For now here is a sneak-peek of Bukom.