“A World-Class Knockout!”
Dates: November 4th-9th
Venue: National Theater
1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
With a cast of 32 of South Africa’s brightest and most versatile young performers, singers, drummers and dancers, AFRICA UMOJA – The Spirit of Togetherness, 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy Tour is a joyous celebration of dynamic talent, thrilling energy, great voices and sensual dances that sweep across the bright and vibrant South African traditional landscape.
Traveling on the beats of drums, from the dusty streets of Soweto to all the corners of the world’s best and biggest stages, AFRICA UMOJA – which in Zulu means ‘together’ – tells the moving tale of indigenous South African music and dance from the earliest rhythms to the current club sounds of kwaito.
Audiences all over the world have embraced the traditional love songs, lullabies and other musical expressions of rural life. They have also cried along in the city streets listening to music reflecting the pain of the migrant laborers and their families. The tale dances through sheebeens and the cultural melting-pot of Sophiatown. The heart is saddened by cold stories of forced removals yet the feet continue to stomp along with the explosions of gumboot dancing.
There are also the reminiscent sounds of the vibrant jazz that forced its way free from the constraints of the times. The international audiences will relate to names such as Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa) and the late Dolly Radebe, while a thread of gospel music running through the tale recalls the huge helpings of faith and courage. This saw black South Africans through some of the country’s stormiest historical passages.