A slice of Africa

A slice of Africa

In celebration of India’s long-standing historical, political and economic relation with Africa, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is set to hold a two-day ‘Africa Festival.’ The cultural fest will include some enthralling performances by troupes from five African countries, namely, Seychelles, Zambia, Sudan, Ghana and Senegal. The fest will be held at the Kamani auditorium from June 18 to 19, post which it will move on to other cities- Jammu, Varanasi, Ahmadabad, Chandigarh and Haridwar.

Indo-Africa relations go as far back as the pre-historic age when the first humans migrated from the tropical continent to the western coast of our country. India now seeks to partner and support Africa in its resurgence- a partnership based on mutual respect and understanding.

In consonance with this, India has been constantly engaging with Africa on the cultural front as well. Africa culturally a very diverse region. A cultural event titled ‘A tribute to Africa’ was organized on the sidelines of the Indian Africa summit in April 2008 in New Delhi with participation from 12 countries of Africa. To further these cultural contacts and enhance our interaction with Africa, ICCR is now organising the ‘Africa festival.’

On the first day- June 18, Delhi is lucky to host the Zambia Cultural Dance Troupe (ZCDT), a dance and music group from Seychelles and Ntentan- a troupe from Ghana. The ZCDT is a 20 member group of professional artistic Zambians created in 2003 in Lusaka, Zambia. Their aim is to sensitize and mobilize the Zambian community through song and dance. They have already performed at a number of big national and international events like the New York Dance Africa Festival (2009), Shanghai World Expo (2010) and the Botswana National Day (2011).

‘Ntentan,’ meaning ‘web’ in Ghana’s Akan dialect, was set up in 2005 in Accra, Ghana. Their motif emphasizes the craft of web making- a remarkable and enigmatic work of the spider, and the same craftiness is reflected in the skillful dance of this group. Ntentan Dance Company has strong family ties to Ghanaian traditional dances and seeks its preservation through performance. On the second day- June 19, La Linguere- a dance and music group from Senegal and a folklore group from Sudan will perform at the festival.

Director-general of ICCR, Suresh K Goel added, “These countries have been selected from different parts of Africa, to reflect the varying dance forms and music in these countries. The zest for life and close bonding with nature, that is typical of African dances, is being brought forth in this festival.”
“We hope the ‘Africa Festival’ will not only help strengthen our people to people and cultural exchanges but also provide Indians with a unique perspective of the vibrant and dynamic dance and music, for which Africa is world famous.”   

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