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  • Splendid Theatre

    Country  Tanzania
    Genres acrobats roots traditional
    FestivalSauti za Busara 2008
    Splendid Theatre
    Splendid Theatre

    Splendid Theatre group was initiated as an idea by Ramadhani Maneno (Pendapenda) during 1997. Ramadhani's career as an artist started when he was a mere nine years old, displaying his dancing skills at various parties in his neighbourhood of Dar es Salaam. At the age of thirteen, he was selected to lead his school's acting group.

     

    Splendid Theatre started with 25 artists. Some decided to leave and join other existing groups in Dar es Salaam, eg. Zemkala and Makacha. Mr Blue left to pursue a solo career in the bongo flava arena, where he has achieved national popularity.

    Currently numbering eleven artists, Splendid continues to perform traditional ngoma music, blending their unique and lively shows with acrobatics for more originality. The dancers are all girls, aged ten to sixteen. Sometimes they perform for up to three hours, a strong testament of the long hours the group puts into rehearsals and practice. The two 10 year olds, Violet and Coletta, are crowd favourites, keeping the audience clapping and wowing during performances due to their amazing acrobatic and dancing abilities. "Most traditional music styles are always played the same way, and so after some time they become boring. This is the reason we decided to come with the idea of blending acrobatics and dance to create an interesting mix", says Ramadhani.

    Instruments used include three djembe drums, solo marimba, bass marimba, flute, barrel drums and shakers. Splendid performs regularly at the Makumbusho Village Museum in Dar es Salaam. During recent years they have also played at Bagamoyo Festival, Morogoro Cultural Festival, Music Crossroads, SADC Dance Festival (Harare) and more.