A NAFAC evening of music, dance and theatre
By Nurudeen Salifu
very engaging atmosphere took charge of the Tamale Park last Monday night when performers from the National Theatre resident groups thrilled fans to a heart-throbbing performance in dance, drama and music.
It was a night that Tamale had never witnessed and owed its gratitude to the organizers of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC), 2010, who put together the show as part of activities for the week-long event that got off to a smooth start last Saturday.
The National Symphony Orchestra opened the show with some insightful songs that sought to throw light on the current societal trends and the adulteration of Ghanaian culture.
The National Drama Company, with it assemblage of experienced actors, was the next to perform as it set the stage for an evening of humorous and educative drama appropriate for an occasion like NAFAC.
The actors performed a play entitled “Short arms and the Baobab,” in the play written and directed by Dzifa Glikpoe, who is currently the Acting Artistic Director of the National Theatre.
The Baobab in the play, as explained by Madam Dzifa Glikpoe, stood for motherhood and that the play talks about the responsibilities that come along with being a teenage mother.
“In fact, the message that this play seeks to convey to young people is that it is not easy being a parent and that they should take their time and take up such responsibilities when they are matured and well prepared,” she stated.
As expected, the actors gave off their best in communicating this message as a young man and a woman got caught up in teenage relationship that ended them in a quagmire of troubles.
With a baby who finally passed away due to lack of care and the teenage father who shirked his responsibilities and escaped to the city, only to meet his death, the message was succinctly delivered for the youth to appreciate.
At about 9:30pm, the Ghana Dance Ensemble then took the stage with a highly energetic rhythmic performance, which depicted life at Bukom. It was this performance that revived the apparently tired and sleepy crowd as they watched the performers mime and dance, while the backing drummers and singers produced sounds to match the actions.
The main thrust of their performance was to educate the youth on the effects of juvenile delinquency and how single parenting could impact negatively on children’s growth.
After such an exhilarating artistic display, it was now the turn of the cultural group at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in Tamale, called Tiynmba’, which performed a drama piece tilted: “when the king is dead.”
The import of the play, written and directed by Antoinette Kotoko and delivered in the Dagbani language , was to throw light on the chieftaincy institution of the Dagombas, with particular focus on the funeral and succession activities that take place when the chief dies.
It also sought to show avenues for peace-building in times of crisis during the search for a new king. With the appropriate traditional regalia, movements, dance and speech, the actors beautifully rendered the play to bring an exciting evening to a close.
For some people, who witnessed the show, it was such a wonderful performance that needed to be sustained and given more support to thrive.
“For me, these performances were not just about music and dance, but the role that theatre arts could play in national development, such as communicating for positive social change,” the Director of the Centre for National Culture in the Upper East region, Mr. Kombat Fuzzy told Graphic Showbiz.
He described the programme as fantastic and well-co-ordinated, adding that “we have been able to entertain, educate, inform and transform at the same time.”
Graphic showbiz Page: 16 Thursday, November 25-1, 2010