Nukporfe to bring sounds of Ghana to campus stage

The Nukporfe African Dance and Drumming Ensemble will perform Thursday, March 29, at the Chamber Hall.

Don’t be surprised if you close your eyes and feel like you’re in Ghana at the Nukporfe African Dance and Drumming Ensemble’s performance on Thursday.

The performance, which will be held at 8 p.m. March 29, in the Anderson Center Chamber Hall, will highlight more than 100 traditional songs, and traditional dances and costumes from Ghana. Tickets are $3 and will be sold at the door.

Assistant Professor James Burns, the ensemble’s director, said the group will be “as authentic as we can be.” The group is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the music, Africana studies and theatre dance departments.

“We’re telling you a story about the culture,” Burns said. “There’s a purpose.”

“You would imagine a drum circle,” Burns said, but this performance will be more than that. “We have drumming, singing and storytelling.”

The music is multi-layered. Each layer depends on another. The dancers listen for cues from the support drums that tell them which movements to make. The lead drums have a conversation with the response drums, and the singer leads the conversation.

“Every part, everything matters,” Burns said. If one move is wrong, it may set off a chain reaction. The interdependency of the music demonstrates the collaboration of all the pieces at work.

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