AFRICA UMOJA, 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy Tour, a dazzling and jubilant celebration of the history of indigenous South Africa music and dance that has been playing to standing ovations in over 30 countries across the globe, will play in South Florida through Saturday, January 3, at Actors’ Playhouse (280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables).
Created by Todd Twala and Thembi Nyandeni, directed by South African Executive Director Joe Theron and presented by Ernest Kelly, International Arts Foundation New Orleans president and USA Executive Producer, AFRICA UMOJA–The Spirit of Togetherness, 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy, will arrive with 32 of South Africa’s most versatile and dynamic young singers, dancers and drummers.
Fueled by history, and drawn from the myriad cultures that compose their rural worlds, traditional love songs, lullabies, and internationally acclaimed choreography will be performed that will narrate in passionate song and dance the moving tale of love and community that black South Africans triumphed through some of their country’s stormiest passages.
“Audiences will experience life in townships through authentic tribal dancing, joyous gospel singing, explosive drumming and heartfelt performances in an exciting tribute to South Africa and the Zulu heritage,” said Kelly. “Punctuating our joint celebration with South Africa’s twenty years of freedom and democracy is the tribute to Nelson Mandela which includes the song “Long Road to Freedom” written in his honor and performed to visuals of Mandela in jail on Robben Island and his release from Pollsmoor Prison in 1990.”
Channeling the sounds of such iconic and internationally acclaimed stars as Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa), Hugh Masekela and the late Dolly Radabe, also heard will be the sounds of the vibrant jazz that forced its way free from the constraints of the times along with works drawn from the earliest rhythms of “Kwaito.”
On Friday, January 2, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the company will appear at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami). Performances are at 7:30 p.m. daily and on Saturday January 3, at 3 p.m. Following the December 31 New Year’s Eve performance, the audience will be invited to a reception to meet and greet the cast for photos and signings.
Tickets Thursday and Friday, January 1 and 2 are $75. Wednesday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve) and Thursday, January 1 all tickets are $50. For tickets and further information, call (305) 444-9293 ext. 1.; www.actorsplayhouse.org. or www.umojausatour.com