Thrilling night of rhythms

Thrilling night of rhythms

The National Troupe
of Nigeria delivered a thrilling experience during a musical show
titled ‘Rhythms and Reminiscences’ at the National Theatre, Iganmu,
Lagos, on April 29.

Directed by music
specialists, Dapo Omideyi and Femi Ogunrombi, both graduates of the
Obafemi Awolowo University, the concert featured renditions of popular
tunes and folk songs in Efik, Ijaw and Itsekiri languages. There were
also songs from other parts of Nigeria and Ghana.

The opening
performances included traditional dances from different parts of the
country such as Igbo male dancers in leopard skin loincloths and
drummers that churned out energetic beats.

The Yoruba routine
was gay and energetic, after which the musical duo Zule Zoo, consisting
of Ibrahim and Michael, performed. However, the duo merely lip-synched
to the actual songs they performed and it was a bit of a drawback as it
paled in comparison to the vibrancy of live performance.

However, they made
up for it with a retinue of dancers, members of the National Troupe who
provided lively dances and captivating body movements in accompaniment
to the songs.

Zule Zoo performed
their popular hit “Kerewa”, complete with racy choreography. It is a
suggestive number about a woman who engages in a sexual romp with her
lover while her husband is away. The incident is narrated by the
woman’s son to her husband when he returns.

Songs of unity

After a comedy
interlude by SLK, director Omideyi and the troupe came on. ‘Aramotu’
producer and assistant director Ogunrombi played the keyboard as the
troupe rendered various numbers, including patriotic songs calling for
Nigerian unity.

well-synchronized troupe aided by a brilliant band churned out popular
tunes including popular Yoruba highlife/juju song, “Ara mi Ese Pele
Pele”; “Ene Dope, Ene Dope”, an Itsekiri number; and the late Rex
Lawson’s “Love Adure”, which sent the audience into raptures.

Curly-haired actor
and singer Bongo Lipso joined the electrifying performance of “Love
Adure” and drew shouts of delight from the audience for his act as he
moonwalked off the stage.

The well thoughtout
and rehearsed songs were brilliantly delivered by the 59-person band
comprising 48 singers, eight instrumentalists, one pianist and two
saxophonists. The beautiful lighting effects and overall stage lighting
aided the effect of the performance, which was an impressive ensemble.
The performance of the troupe was remarkable and evident of meticulous

Omideyi said in a
chat with NEXT that preparation for the concert was an eye-opener for
him and also for the troupe as they were exposed to potentials they
didn’t know they possessed.

He said, on the
choice of popular highlife tunes and folk songs for the concert, “We
wanted to go back to the olden days and perform numbers that people
could identify with and we had to do folk songs that cut across the

According to the management of the troupe, the concert which was
also staged the following day, was in fulfillment of the “promise of
the newly confirmed artistic director of the troupe, Martins Adaji, to
reinvigorate the music department.”

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