Traditional Zulu Song, Dance & Stories is the final concert in the Center for World Music’s Passport to Worlds of Music Spring 2018 series.
Traditional Zulu Song, Dance & Stories
Nomsa Burkhardt and Bongani Makatini perform traditional Zulu drumming, songs, and dance, intertwined with stories of the rich Zulu heritage and culture.
Born in Soweto, Nomsa Burkhardt is an extraordinary South African musician and dancer. She spent her formative years in KwaZulu Natal, a region famous for its rich Zulu heritage and culture. There, she studied various traditional dance styles with master dancers, such as Indlamu, ukuQhobosha, and ukuSina. After immigrating to Philadelphia, she co-founded the African dance troupe HIMOSHA. Her artistic skills and passion for dance quickly propelled her into serving as both the director and lead choreographer for the troupe for seven years. She collaborated with well-known, Philadelphia-based South African multi-instrumentalist and artist Mogauwane Mahloele at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, and at many universities and schools. She also performed and conducted workshops annually at the Philly Dance Africa Project.
In 2000 she returned to South Africa to study with the accomplished ethnomusicologist Prof. Meki Nzewi at the University of Pretoria. Upon her return to the USA in 2004, she joined the Grammy-nominated South African band Sharon Katz & The Peace Train. As part of the Peace Train Project at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Nomsa was instrumental in developing a teacher-training program that focused on South African history and conducted a series of educational performances. Nomsa has toured throughout the USA, South Africa, Israel, Italy, and Germany. She is the co-founder of IZINDE, an Afro-fusion band composed of performing artists from around the world.
Bongani Makatini was born in Soweto Township of Johannesburg, South Africa, and was exposed to the arts at an early age. His mother, a social worker in the township, ran a youth center that brought the arts to the community.
Bongani started his performance career at age 12. He co-starred with veteran actress Marah Louw in a stage production called Isivumelwane, which toured several cities of Southern Africa. He was a cast member of Porgy & Bess, which was staged in Johannesburg’s iconic Alhambra Theatre.
Bongani moved to the United States in 1983. Since relocating, Bongani has directed and performed traditional dance with The Shaka Zulu Generation dance group at the Apollo Theater. Under the sponsorship of the Juilliard School of Music, Bongani presented folk dance and storytelling performances in K–12 New York City Public Schools in the mid-nineties.
Most recently, Bongani staged performances on college campuses for special occasions and celebrations such as Black History Month, and cultural events in New Jersey and in San Diego, California.
We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Because of the intimate and informal nature of the space, seating is limited to 35 guests. A small number of tickets will be sold at the door.
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