Free dance show: Sidi Dhamal Goma troupe keep their African roots alive

2012-11-06 00:00

THE Midlands Hindu Society and the Consul General of India in Durban are hosting a free performance by the Sidi Dhamal Goma troupe in the Aryan Hall, Khan Road, Pietermaritzburg, at 7 pm tomorrow (November 7).

The Sidis of Gujarat are a tribal community of East African origin who relocated to India eight centuries ago and made the region their home. They carried with them their exceptionally rich musical traditions and kept it alive and flourishing through the generations.

A traditional occupation of these African-Indians has been to perform sacred music and dance as wandering faqirs, singing songs to their black Sufi saint, Bava Gor.

Sidi Goma’s performance presents an overview of Sidi ritual, from the traditional muezzin call to prayer to a staged ritual performance.

Intoxicating drum patterns support the dancers who perform feats of agility and strength, gradually reaching an ecstatic climax.

The performance, which also features solos on the malunga and dancers walking on fire, is a captivating and powerful celebration of their unique African-Indian heritage.

• arts@witness.co.za

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