One of Ghana’s active traditional troupes, Woshishije, have successfully held drumming and dance workshops for over 350 international students from the US, Canada, and Europe.
The cultural group has been organising dance and drumming lessons for students, tourists, and researchers from both home and abroad over the past 10 years.
The troupe, Woshishije is created with the goal to preserve the rich heritage of the Ghanaian dance culture and support the creative work and cultural industries using Ghana dance forms as a basis.
The cultural troupe demonstrated to the students each drum part and performed the rhythms as a group. The troupe took the students through the variety of Ghanaian dance forms including Akan ceremonial dance suites such as Kete, Adowa. Others were Kpalongo – a recreational piece that emerged in the late 1960s and was associated with the Ga ethnic group; Kinka – recreational dance performed at celebrations such as naming ceremony, marriage ceremonies, parties, among others; Agbadza – musical type performed at funerals; slow and fast Agbekor – ancient Ewe war dance that is now mostly played at funerals, stool festivals.
The historical significance, movements, dance patterns, and the usage of gestures – a non-verbal language of each dance were also explained to the participating students.
An excited student intimated that “we study how the values can contribute to knowledge bodies, especially the philosophies embedded in the dance movement and gestures — the theatrical component.”
On his part, the Master drummer Bright Mensah mentioned how they see this as a way to educate the world with their skills and talents. He congratulated his entire team including Samuel Mama, Sophia, Juliana, and Hannah for leading the workshop for the first 15 days and gave gratitude to other performers such as David, Priscilla, Angela, Richard Nii Ashiaku, and Joycelyn for finishing it up.
Concluding the dance workshop at the Dance Department of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Prof. Awo Mannah expressed her excitement to the team “I am very happy that we have groups like Woshishije that teach local and international students, tourists and researchers our unique dance forms and drumming techniques to serve as a resource for the nation and especially for international students to get a taste of our rich traditional culture”.
The students wrapped up their summer experience with a live stage performance at the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, University of Ghana.