Tuesday, 12 July 2011

14th Day, last day!!

Today is my last day and really enjoyed it. All the people I've worked with along the way, the dancers, the slums, Hussein, the Warehouse, I managed to re-visit them. I brought some music I made back in England and for me it was my own little experiment to see how they will adapt with rhythms I am very familiar with, them using the rhythms in their own traditional dynamic. I've managed to put a little video clip together to show my jourmey here in Malawi. My journey here has been like going back to the basics and with my experience today I have learnt a lot. Malawi is a country of art, which I already knew but even bigger than I imagined. I have really enjoyed the people, how trusting they are to each other and how helpful they are which is a breath of fresh air. I will be catching my plane back tomorrow and really looking forward to putting my research into practice.

Monday, 11 July 2011

12th, 13th Day

Sunday we met up with Hussein and we continued our conversation from the Saturday. Pretty much saturday and sunday was more of reflections day and comparing cultures. Today we met up at the Warehouse and we had a meeting with the National Theatre Association of Malawi with the Vice President - Henry Ntalika, Treasurer - Max DC and Hussein. I have just been fishing out how my company can be involved internationally especially Africa, it sounds very positive and hoping Tavaziva Dance will tour in Malawi. Tomorrow is my last day and I am going to focus more on music of Chewa and Tumbuka tribe, I am revisiting the slums, I really want to re - capture the sounds scape and the smell.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

11th Day

Hussein came in at 10am, we decided today we talk about what has been happening for the past 10 days. Basically we have been talking about Gule Wamkulu in detail as I wasn't surprised he knows more than I thought. We went on to speak about Tumbuka tribe that he has much more information about. I asked him about the Namibian tribe and we shared ideas, I have accumilated a lot of information from the discussion.

Friday, 8 July 2011

10th Day

Today we met Hussein at the Warehouse, he said good news he has been asked to perform. We went to the village, the whole thing was an educational event about women's rights. It started with a few people then it seemed like the whole village was there. Mostly little boys and little girls, not as many adults. I enjoyed the energy of the audience and they seemed like they've got a certain sound or chant when they really enjoy something. I captured some amazing footage and I got to listen to the drumming that I learnt yesterday. What excited me was they had 2 different styles of african dance and Muganda was one of them, that reminded me this is really what I wanted to learn. With Muganda for me, it's the aggression and the elegance of the movement that I find tormenting. With my remaining days here in Malawi I want to master this style because it's got so much richness in it. It was really nice to see Hussein and his wife perform, I think Hussein has some spirit and I think he practices african medicine. I was overwhelmed with the drumming and the energy of the whole event. The children are always excited to see me and the camera and are happy to be in it. We changed the day that we are going to meet the director of Theatre of Arts and Culture to tomorrow as this event was last minute. Tomorrow I am looking forward to liase and hopefully something will come out of meeting these people.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

9th Day

Today was the day we were learning a style called Penenga which is done by the Tumbuka tribe, Muganda from the northern Malawi version and Muganda2 southern Malawi. It was really interesting to go back to the basics to re-shape my vocabulary of african dance. Most of the movement I didn't find it alien to me, I have done some of it along the way or maybe just similar to my own Zimbabwe traditional dances. What really energised me was the Muganda drum which I got to learn a few rhythms of. This amazing drummer could also play the Gule Wamkulu sounds and I got to learn to play one of the rhythms. I have also been looking at songs of different tribes and I enjoyed the humour in the lyrics. We worked on a space that is concrete and outside but it seems the concrete is soft when you bash your knees into it. Maybe I think it's the heat that makes the floor softer. I've learnt a lot from his lectures whilst we were learning the steps, knowing where certain dances are done and what tribe. We will be continuing tomorrow going in detail with the Muganda2 which is my most favourite. After our rehearsal, we met a man who trained Hussein and he is a Director of the National Theatre of Arts in Malawi. So we are going to have a meeting tomorrow at the same place with the committee as they have a festival in October and we are hoping to involve the company to perform nect October.