Audience and Japanese Dancers to Join World Music Ensemble Onstage

by Steve Charles

April 8, 2004

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Senior Joe Warfel
The audience will learn to dance, drum, and sing along with Wabash College’s world music ensemble when Wamidan performs its year-end concert, along with special guests the Minyo Japanese Dance Group, on April 13 at 8 p.m. at Salter Hall.

"True folk music is intended to be played and danced by the community," says Wamidan founder and Wabash professor James Makubuya, recently returned from his performance at Carnegie Hall. "On April 13, our audience will join us onstage to learn to play drums, dance, sing, and discover the joy of truly participating in folk music."

Featuring African, Latin American, Australian, and French-Canadian vocal and instrumental music, as well as dances from Ghana in West Africa, Uganda in East Africa, and Canada, the ensemble will also introduce "gumboot dancing"—the traditional South African dance of hope that was performed by the miners working in the gold and diamond mines during the earlier part of the 20th century.

Joining Wamidan—comprising Wabash students, faculty, and staff along with Crawfordsville residents and dancers from Crawfordsville and South Montgomery schools—are members of the Minyo Japanese Dance Group of Indianapolis.

"Every dance means something different," Minyo dancer Tokiko Gilson says of the folk dances Minyo performs. "Every dance has a story to tell."

For the past 25 years, the Minyo Dance Group has worked to preserve their native folk dances and share them people across the Midwest. Performing at international festivals in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, the group presents their dances in traditional Japanese dress.

"Including these fine Japanese dancers with Wamidan’s repertoire makes for a truly global concert unlike any we’ve seen here at Wabash," Makubuya says. "And when the audience joins in, we’ll have a real celebration of world music."

The concert will also serve as a fitting send-off for Wamidan as the ensemble prepares for its performance at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis on the following Saturday.

The April 13th concert is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Eileen Bowen at 361-6392


Wabash College • 301 W Wabash Ave • Crawfordsville, IN 47933 • 765.361.6100