Asanti Dance Theatre presents the new afro-contemporary dance work SANKOFA (Return and Get It) tonight, 14, 15 December, 6pm & 8:30pm each night Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St. Southbank and then on 20 December at 8 p.m. at Drum Theatre Lonsdale in St. Dandenong.
Tickets for the Southbank show are $33/25 + booking fee at www.malthousetheatre.com or by calling 03 9685 5111. Tickets for the St. Dandenong show are $33/25 + booking fee at www.drumtheatre.com.au or by calling 03 9771 6666.
Director and Choreographer: Appiah Annan
Assistant Director: Roland Cox
Musicians: Lamine Sonko, Kofi Kunpke, Dale Gorefinkel, Boubacar Gaye and Bassidi Kone
Dancers: Appiah Annan, Belinda Annan, Nadiah Idris, Julius Sackey, Ekow Crentsil, Edward Kofi Eshun, Tamsen Franklin and Rita Fokio
Asanti Dance Theatre presents a visceral and uplifting new work by Australia's leading African dancer/chorepgrapher, Appiah Annan. With live accompaniment from renowned Melbourne sound artist Dale Gorefinkel and instrumentalists Lamine Sonko, Kofi Kunpke, Boubacar Gaye and Bassidi Kone, Sankofa unites West African performance traditions and contemporary Australian dance practice in a stunning fusion of modern discipline and raw rhythmic energy.
Asanti Dance Theatre company members have toured throughout Africa, Europe, UK and Australia, returning to headline Federation Square's New Year's Eve Celebrations (2009, 2010), Woodford Folk Festival (2008, 2011), and the Australian Dance Awards (2009).
Inspired by artists such as Pina Bausch, Alvin Ailey, Bangarra and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Annan explores new ways of incorporating African dance motifs and techniques in contemporary choreography. His interest lies in stripping back movements to their core essence, then using what remains to build an original performance vocabulary surrounding a particular theme or idea.
Sankofa is an ancient Ghanaian symbol of a bird reaching its neck back towards its tail. Sankofa teaches us that before one can truly move forward, one must look back to the past.
Ghanaian native and Sidney Myer Creative Fellow Annan trained in multiple dance forms including traditional African, freestyle, hip-hop, contemporary and acrobatic, which are coupled on stage with his masterful drumming on both stick and hand drums.
Annan first founded Asanti Dance Theatre in Ghana to enrich local culture and spread messages of peace, tolerance and understanding. Since its humble beginnings as a small group of dedicated artists, Asanti Dance Theatre has grown into an internationally recognised theatre company, facilitating workshops and collaborations with an increasing number of performers, visitors and local residents each year. On settling in Australia in 2007, Annan established an Australian branch of Asanti Dance Theatre with the desire to bring Ghanaian and Australian communities closer together.
Asanti Dance Theatre performances help to raise funds for the non-profit organisation Nkabom Centre for the Arts, Creation, Innovation and Community Cultural Development, based in the small village of Dawurampong, Ghana. For more information on this community project visit www.nkabom.org.
For more information, visit www.asantidancetheatre.com.