For a while entertainment in Ghana was skewed towards music till the marked improvement in the local movie industry and the rejuvenation of comedy, pioneered by ace satirist KSM and the likes of Tommy Annan-Forson, Fritz Barfour and the 1000 laughs series.
This trend however left a huge vacuum in harnessing talents of the many youth in Ghana. Year in year out musical talent series like Stars of the Future have unearthed excellent music talents, however it seems one has to win to make any headway with their gift.
It is about time that all these talents are explored to their full potential in other areas of entertainment. Dance Theatre is an excellent platform in which these young talents can blossom, much like it is done on Broadway in America and West End in the UK where dance theatre comes to life in all its glory.
In recent times a number of theatre productions have generated public interest as people are beginning to crave the excitement that theatre productions generated. Popular playwrights like Ebo Whyte and Nii Commey are widely credited with making theatre attractive once again, although several lovers of theatre have been working behind the scenes over the years to bring Ghanaian theatre back to life.
The call to revive theatre performances in Ghana has been answered by Charterhouse, arguably the biggest event organising outfit in Ghana. It has added to its list of events for the 2010 calendar year two exciting theatre productions beginning in May with UMOJA and High School Musical, two extraordinarily exciting stage productions that are taking the world stage by storm.
UMOJA, which means togetherness, is a South African dance theatre group which tells the story of the evolution of South Africa’s extraordinary history. This South African indigenous dance theatre group bases their stories on the South African apartheid and the African story in general.
Their elaborate performances are usually sold out as they put a lot of soul into their story. Their performance transports the audience into the history of South Africa through music and dance. Through their vibrant artistic performances we learn to appreciate their culture and get a glimpse of their history.
UMOJA is also about the revival of African theatre and the company will hold workshops with various dance groups as part of their visit in order to transfer some valuable experiences to their Ghanaian counterparts.
Following closely on the heels of UMOJA will be another extraordinary theatre production; Disney’s High School Musical – stage production, which will be a collaboration between Charterhouse, the franchise holders and Disney.
High School Musical, the Ghanaian stage production, is the first of its kind to take place in the country. High School Musical is a 2006 American film, and the first in the High School Musical film franchise. The Ghanaian version will involve students and young adults (15-25 years) from across the country who will be auditioned for various parts in the stage production.
Successful applicants will then be trained by Disney producers over a period of about six weeks, after which the show will run at the National Theatre for four days. Charterhouse seeks to develop the dance theatre culture in Ghana through these two theatre productions, and leave Ghanaians with an exciting alternative entertainment source.
The ultimate dream for such an ambitious project is not only to revive and generate excitement in Ghanaian dance theatre, but also to serve as a viable employment source for the many talented and creative youth who are looking for avenues to present their talents, earn an income and develop a career in the theatre arts.
Source: Daily Guide
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