Simba Wanga is the traditional Giriama dance group from Fumbini village. In collaboration with Anna Nowicka, a Berlin based choreographer, interested in dream stories, they realized a brand new performance based on a story of Mekatilili Wa Menza, a heroine from the Giriama tribe.
The collaboration between Simba Wanga and Anna Nowicka is using the medium of dance to tell universal stories of female rebels, civil disobedience and fight for one’s own dignity, culture and land. The project is rooted in the traditional dances of the Giriama Tribe, that Simba Wanga preserves. These communal choreographies bring the culture alive, and enact traditional stories in the now, in front of audience’s eyes. One re-lives the vision of Mepoho, who foresees the arrival of the white man, and burns with the courage of Mekatitlili to openly confront the colonisers. These stories – among others – form the base for the sing and dance compositions. Anna contributes with her knowledge of contemporary choreography, improvisation and performance, adding new compositional choices to the stories and contributing to the flow of the evening.
Pwani University students join in with their unique hip-hop skills, and tell the familiar story in a new, unconventional way. The project is a cross-generational meeting,
bridging 4 different languages, and gathering participants around universal themes, that move us across continents.
Juma Chengo and The Simba Wanga group foster and encourage people to come together and celebrate the day’s struggles and joys with music and dance. Traditionally these dances are performed at special occasions, weddings, and funerals, but the 12 members of Simba Wanga are educating about the traditions of the Giriama by celebrating and sharing the culture with visitors. The ‘Mabumbumbu’ drums create a rhythm that will leave you with no choice but to dance away to the sound of the Giriama.
Anna Nowicka (Berlin) is choreographer and performer, plunging into the lush reality of dreaming. She researches the potential of images to expand the body into a state of continuous becoming. Graduate of the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD), MA Choreography at the HfS Ernst-Busch / HZT in Berlin and MA Psychology at the Warsaw University, she also wrote her practice based PhD on embodied awareness as the foundation for being present. Since 2010 her individual choreographic practice has been connected with the Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk in Poznań. Anna is a certified Saphire® Practice teacher at The School of Images of dr Catherine Shainberg, and she is deepening the work on dreaming with dr Bonnie Buckner. Her most recent work – „Eye Sea” premiered in December 2019 in HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin. www.annanowicka.com