Patience Chaitezvi (Zimbabwean dandanda drum, song, and dance)
September 24, 2015
11:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Spurrier Dance Studio, UR River Campus
Throughout much of Southern Africa, the word “ngoma” means drum; by extension, it can also refer to the general concept of music itself. Yet ngoma also denotes specific musical styles that combine drumming, dance, and song. In addition, there is often a ritual dimension to ngoma, which is fundamental to ceremonies focused around individual and social healing.
With its long history of ritual, political, and social significance, ngoma continues to represent a dynamic and evolving cultural practice, placing it at the center of both colonial and postcolonial contests over musical and social meaning.
While dozens of drumming, dance, and song genres flourish in contemporary Zimbabwe, ngoma is decidedly neglected as a field of musical and social practice.
Focusing on the drumming, dance, and song traditions of Zimbabwe, this class investigates how ngoma has enabled contemporary Shona speakers to articulate, negotiate, and critique evolving social relationships. Th class has has two, complimentary components. The largest part of the project will bring members of Chinyakare Music and Dance Company, together with guest dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena, to the University of Rochester for a three-day artist-in-residency. Simultaneously, the project will stage an interactive gallery exhibition of photographs of Zimbabwean musical performance over the past twenty years, curated by Jennifer Kyker.
During their artist-in-residency, Chinyakare members and Dumbutshena will offer several events. Foremost among them will be a public performance in Spurrier, required for students enrolled in MUR 210 “Ngoma: Drumming, Dance, and Ritual in Southern Africa,” MHS 590 “Acoustic Africa”, and ENS 217 “Advanced Mbira Ensemble.”