Sidi Goma – Joyful African-Indian Drumming, Dance, and Song (May 2nd – Saturday at 8:00 p.m.)
Sidi Goma is a troupe of performers from a tribe of Sufi Muslims who inhabit the Indian region of Gujarat, having migrated there from their original home in East Africa centuries ago. Dubbed the Black Sufis of Gujarat, this group of Sidis are entirely devoted to their life’s mission of sharing their unique tribal culture and sacred ritual with the rest of the world through their international performances of song and dance. At the center of Sidi tradition is the worship of the African saint and mythological figure Bava Gor who is credited with giving his people the great gift of joy. It is in recognition and gratitude for this wonderful treasure that has been bestowed upon them that the Sidis perform their religious songs and dances.
Each of Sidi Goma’s performances (see video) is ceremonial in nature and represents a zikr, a performed prayer of thanks. There are 12 group members in all including singers, drummers and dancers. The show opens with a call to prayer which is followed by a series of spoken-word songs (including baithi, dhamal, and qawwali genres), additional prayer calls, malunga solos, and dances, most of which are accompanied by native Sufi drumming patterns. The extreme agility with which the dancers perform such challenging choreography is a definite highlight of the performance. The entire show exudes nothing but pure joy and playfulness from beginning to end and builds in intensity both rhythmically and choreographically until the wonderfully exuberant climax at the finish.
Sidi Goma’s strong and vibrant African-Indian form of world fusion music and dance has become very popular internationally as they have successfully connected time and again with audiences world-wide. Here are some reviews from the New York Times and the BBC Report, as well as an extensive photo gallery from a performance at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles and a media file. They also have released a cd entitled: Sidi Sufis: African-Indian Mystics of Gujarat.
Concert Details :
When: May 2nd – Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Somerville Theatre
Available at Crash/Arts or by calling (617) 876-4275