Promoting traditional dances is vital in saving them from extinction, Dikamawoko Arts director Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera has said.
In this regard, the arts group has intensified cultural performances to conserve and promote at-risk folk dances.
“Traditional dances are an expression of our cultural values. They have been practised by our forefathers since time immemorial. These dances are part of our unique identity as Malawians. It is against this background that Dikamawoko Arts is promoting traditional dances to safeguard them,” he said.
It is rare for promoters to organise events exclusively dedicated to traditional dances.
But Dikamawoko has taken the path less travelled, with an exclusive performance slated for June 10 at Kwa Haraba Arts Gallery and Café in Blantyre.
The group held a similar show last year at Chrichi Multipurpose Gardens in the city.
These performances unite skilled dancers from different ethnic backgrounds to portray the richness of a diversity of traditional dances, including Chewas’ gulewamkulu and chimtali, Lhomwes’ tchopa and Tumbukas’ vimbuza.
Dikamawoko Arts is working with various cultural troupes ahead of the performances according to Nkhonjera.
“We want to restore our identity and educate the young generation about the foundations of their existence. We want to encourage artists to embrace traditional dances in their music videos to preserve their unique identity,” he said.
He reckoned folk dances make music videos distinctive. n