Celebration of Nigerian music and dance
This article is from 2008.
It’s easy to lump African dance together into one big melting pot of bright costumes and tribal drums. In reality, not only does each country have a distinct style, so too does each region within it. Hailing from Cross River State in Nigeria, the Obong company of 16 male and female dancers is making its Fringe debut.
‘They’re all well-respected dancers over there,’ explains the show’s Edinburgh-based producer, Marlene Zwickler. ‘But this company has been created specifically for the Fringe. The king of the region is known as the Obong, and the real life Obong is over the moon that they’ve used his name.’
Featuring 11 traditional Cross River dances, covering momentous events such as war, courtship and childbirth, the show is performed in some of the most colourful costumes you’ll see this August. ‘The Eppe costume in particular is amazing,’ says Zwickler. ‘You can’t just stick it on and dance – you have to go through a ritual first because it’s very culturally significant.’
Udderbelly’s Pasture, 0844 5458252, 3–25 Aug, times vary, £11–£13 (£10–£11). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £6.