A bundle of hilarious twists and turns

Tiqeetflash

It was a night packed with side splitting and rib cracking laughs from curtain rise till curtain fall when the Abibigromma Resident Theatre of the University of Ghana took the stage at the E.T.S Drama Studio. Rarely does one find a show open with a full house, an excited and discerning audience who appreciate a hearty laugh and a splendid performance. Such is ilfe.

Femi Osofisan’s Such is life comes alive once again at the Efua Theodora Sutherland Studio at the University of Ghana from the 28th to 30th March 2014 under the artistic directorship of Dr. Grace Uche Adninku. Set in the age of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in Nigeria, similar to Ghana’s GIPC, Such is life highlights the impact of the harsh economic hardships survived by Nigerians even among the supposedly comfortable members of society. Prof. Juokwu, a lecturer of medicine and his ever suspicious wife Obioma…

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Abibigromma goes digital

Tiqeetflash

Abibigromma , the resident theatre group of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana since its inception in 1983 finally goes digital offering electronic tickets in partnership with  Tiqeet .

Starting on the 27th of March 2014 in partnership with Tiqeet, Abibigromma is joining the elite league of productions houses that offer their most valuable clients and patrons extra convenience and comfort in purchasing ticket for their shows. With the recent wave of technology and its immense advantages it makes no sense for the model for repertory theatre that facilitates learning, research and experimentation not to adopt the latest innovation in the industry. Hence the partnership with Tiqeet.

Tiqeet is an event promotion and digital ticketing platform that enables event attendees to easily discover events and purchase tickets right from the convenience of their phones. It further provides intelligence on the attendees creating opportunities for quality feedback to…

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Disrupt the power structures

With the increasing rate of corruption and the impunity with which people brandish this fetid wave of moral decadence and abuse of public office in the country, there is cause to disrupt the power structures to make room for fresh ideas, innovation and forward thinking people with moral integrity to drive the nation to its proverbial promise land. That is what inspired co-directors Kobina Hagan and Esther Ohemaa Adjei, both National Service personnel at the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts to engage discerning members of the  our society rethink our future as a nation.

The perfect play to drive home this point for them is Wole Soyinka’s 1965 masterpiece, Kongi’s Harvest. President Kongi, the dictator of a developing country tries to move the country forward by any means necessary. However, he has the odious task of unifying the nation and making them believe in his ideas. To accomplish this he makes all government officials dress in traditional African wear and even seeks the council of Oba Danlola, the traditional ruler he disposed. To affirm his superior rule he requires Oba Danlola to present to him the ceremonial yam from the harvest at a state event. This will symbolize the complete transfer of power and total abdication of the traditional ruler to him.

To further immortalize himself he contemplates naming the ceremony in perpetuity after himself.  Kongi also hand picks his “council” of leaders to draft a five year development plan to unify and develop the country. These sycophants, as they turn out to be, seem by their obsequiousness abetted Kongi’s transmogrification into a grotesque dictator.

How have we in our silence or looking the other way, servility and eagerness to please people in power for the sake of stuffing our bellies or for whatever fleeting privileges contributed to the stunted growth of our country? Soyinka seems to ask.

Aptly interspersed with humor, rich African proverbs (most of them difficult to decipher), graceful and complementing imagery, the 110 minute long play grips the attention of discerning audiences eliciting a wide range of emotions and provoking thoughts. The equally splendid performance was nothing short of a School of Performing Arts standard; appropriate costuming, excellent articulation, aesthetic elegance and verve. The gracefully choreographed dances by the genteel bevies is a sight to behold.

Well, it is a Soyinka play. There is definitely something I have missed. Something deeper, sublime and elusively obvious. Why not take a trip to the E.T. S. Drama Studio today and catch the last run of Kongi’s Harvest on 22nd and 23rd of March, 2014.

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Bukom relocates to the National Theatre

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.

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

A scene from Bukom, Ghana Dance Enssenble

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How dare you? (V. Monologues Series. Part 3)

Pages Matam’s spoken word piece stirs such deep feelings of rage against people who not only participate in violating the sanctity of women’s sexuality and ridding them of innocence even before they know what has happened to them but also those who trivialize such grave issues. Over 89,000 cases of rape are recorded annually in the US alone and countries like Lesotho, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Korea, New Zealand and United States are among the top countries where rape is prevalent according to Statistics Brain.

Somewhere, this week, this night a woman will be raped, a child’s innocence will be  stripped from away from her and will have to deal with this trauma the rest of her life. A life is destroyed, a future corrupted and dreams dashed as a result of this violation.

How must we as a society deal with this? Are you a victim? Can you share how you dealt with this? Do you know someone who survived this? Share.  What should be done to perpetrators? How do we prevent this all together?

Remember the Vagina Monologues show is at the National Theatre on the 14th and 15th. Tickets are available on Tiqeet or the nearest shopping mall in Accra.

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Obenewa is an alum of the University of Ghana School or Performing Arts who plays multiple roles in this piece including a devastated victim of sexual violence.

If it is not on… (V. Monologues Series. Part 2)

 If it’s not on…

It is a cold evening. The air is chilly and gentle. The breeze is lulling and you are all by yourselves. The touch is warm and the embrace inviting. The weather is just ideal. A kiss, a gentle caress. All seem to be going well… it looks like it is going to happen. But you are not sure if he came prepared. What if asking will upset him and make him change his mind? What if he didn’t come prepared? Would you risk it all for a moment’s pleasure? Your heart is already racing and the breathing is in good rhythm. Do you ask the question now or consider his good looks and assume he is safe?

Protection is the subject today. What would you do in that situation? What do you advise? Have you been in that situation before?

Vagina Monologues presents us with yet another issue for contemplation. For a moment’s pleasure, people make choices that cost them their lives. By the time you finish reading this blog post  a significant number of  people would have died of HIV/AIDS around the world. This is common knowledge and yet people still make risky compromises. Why are they hesitant to ask their partners to get protections? Why do people take such risks knowing well the stakes?

Let’s hear your thoughts.

Get more details on Vagina Monologues on Tiqeet

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