Waters, The Middle Passage
Brouhaha - One World One Stage
27th July 2006
The third evening in the One World One Stage programme collected performances
from around the world that reflected the global stories of human trafficking
and the transatlantic slave trade. I did find it a little difficult to
find the link between slavery and the first act on stage, Officina Pulcinella
Street Theatre Project from Italy. In ‘Waking Dream’, the
multi-talented performers tell the story of a man trapped inside a dream
in which he is surrounded by a host of colourful characters. Delights
included four way club juggling, acrobatics and some nifty Diablo tricks.
Cape VerdeCreating from Portugal followed, with their interpretation
of a new kind of Capeverdian music and dance that fuses the contemporary
and traditional. This group delighted the audience with movements and
melodies that represented the nature and the struggles of the people of
the volcanic islands.
After the interval, Kozman TiDalon – who had ventured from the
island of Réunion – expertly played a collection of traditional
instruments that were accompanied by rich vocal harmonies. Congas, djembes
(a type of bongo) and rouleur bass drum were among the array of instruments
that created an uplifting but incredibly loud music.
Belmont Freetown Cultural Arts Company – from the sunshine of Trinidad
and Tobago – were last to grace the Unity stage. Belmont Freetown
was the first settlement of freed slaves in the Caribbean, and so the
company performed a traditional slave dance that tells the story of enslavement
and eventual freedom. This group had bucket loads of energy and spirit,
so much so that I felt quite lazy watching in the auditorium.
This collection of dance and music gave a real taste of music and culture
from around the world. My only criticism – and it is very rare for
me to have only one – is that I didn’t have any room to join
in. If you are able to watch any of the groups on a warm summer evening
with a plastic pint glass in your hand, I don’t think you’ll
be able to resist swinging your bum just a little.
The event is part of the Brouhaha International Street Festival that
runs at venues throughout the city until August 5. For further information
or pick up a free guide from the Unity.