Umkhathi Collaborate With Nobuntua��

Nkululeko Nkala

Umkhathi are the kings of traditional dance, Nobuntu are the queens of harmony. Mix the two and fireworks are guaranteed.

These two world-class acts are holding a show dubbed Umkhathi and Nobuntu encounter on Friday evening at the Bulawayo Theatre Club.

I had the pleasure of watching their final rehearsal yesterday and I must confess it was beyond expectation.

I have not felt like that about a work of art in a while.

Before I go on and convince you to watch this piece, I feel it will be wrong to not say anything about the Nkwali launch last weekend.

Though the theatre was half full, she played her part. That girl can sing, I was particularly impressed with her performance featuring Impumelelo Shining Stars.

They broke all the accapella rules to give us an amazing show. Not many females can lead an all-male ensemble and be on point both in terms of vocals and choreography- I just wish the whole world could see that.

Back to this weekend. Is it me or our arts industry is finally doing things? In the past few months something has been happening every weekend somewhere. Just today, ita��s not only Umkhathi and Nobuntu doing their thing, the platform Live and Fluid is back at the National Gallery with a catchy show dubbed When House Music meets Hip Hop and Soul.

The show has an attractive line-up featuring Calvin (Hip hop), Skaiva (House), Mzoe 7(Afro Beat), Ricco Andrews Dance) and Flowstick on poetry among other acts that will showcase urban multi-genre talent.

I am tempted to declare/predict (whichever one fits) that Umkhathi and Nobuntu will fill up theatres across the world with their piece.

Thata��s if they decide to go beyond the Friday show. I have realised that many of our acts launch something and ita��s the end of it. This piece should tour, first nationally then obviously to the world. Forget that I worked with them, but the last I was at the edge of my seat was when I watched Zambezi Express in 2009, these guys gave me that.

If you are a fan of harmony make your way to the theatre this evening, if you love dance be there too and if you are a fan of amazing, the music and dance encounter will surely blow your mind away.

So the long and short of it is; Nobuntu bring their harmonies to the dance and Umkhathi bring what they know best to the harmonies.

A typical collaboration will be, each doing what they know best to come out with one piece. But these guys are not holding anything back.

Umkhathi are involved in the music, even in some songs that are led by Nobuntu and honestly their basses and tenors make the music even better.
Ita��s an open secret that most of Nobuntu have two left feet, but more times than not I could not identify them in the 17-man strong cast as they matched their more dance comfortable collaborators move for move and energy to energy. I know for a fact when this is done, each goes back having gained something from the collaboration.

The show is a cocktail of music and dance from local dances to Caribbean and local music to world music. Ita��s one of those feel good shows where one moment you are enjoying gumboot dance and the next moment ita��s a Mbira song taking you through emotions. There is no main story line but a romance between the music and the dance or as they put it, an encounter between the kings of Dance and the Queens of Harmony. Until next week, be safea�� ragipi tu u qi video.