African culture and dance coming to town next week ACulture and dance group coming to town next week

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

World famous song and dance group Black Umfolosi is on a North American tour and is stopping to take centre stage at the Legacy Centre on March 22.

The musical group was created in 1982 by school friends in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. They named themselves after the Umfolozi Omnyama River in South Africa.

The group’s style is a mix of song and dance combining complex rhythms, clicking, and clapping. Their famous gumboot dances showcase the traditional styles and rituals of South Africa.

President of Stage North Len Ramsey said this would be the sixth show they have put on this year at the Legacy Centre.

Stage North was created seven years ago after another performing arts organization in the community had dispersed and they have been doing shows ever since.

“We are always trying to get unique and different talent to put on shows, said Ramsey. “Last year we had the Kelowna ballet.”

He said it was hard to get Black Umfolosi to come to Slave Lake because the group wouldn’t travel to Alberta for just one location.

Ramsey was happy to find out the group was going to be on tour and would come to town.

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door and students and seniors will receive $5 off.

Tickets can be purchased at Magic Scissors, The Source, Slave Lake library, REMAX and online at www.stagenorth.org.

Door open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7:30 p.m. but Ramsey recommends getting there early for a bite to eat, as the FIX Coffee Bar and Bakery would be at the show selling food.

“Show is liable to sell out fast so get your tickets soon,” said Ramsey.

This will be the second-last show of the Stage North 2017/18 concert series season. It concludes on Saturday, April 14 with the Toronto folk quintet Union Duke.

The season has been notable for its variety and quality. It started back in mid-October with the impressive Newfoundland trio, ‘Port Cities,’ followed by legendary bluesman Jim Byrnes. Trevor Panczak’s country music Christmas show was a big hit, and then future blues legend Jesse Roper nearly ripped the roof off the joint in January. The contrast between that and Christopher Hall’s comedy and classical music combo couldn’t have been greater, but it went over very well. And now something totally different, all the way from Africa.

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