Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wocalling Set To Thrill Europe


Wocalling or Women Calling, an all-females ensemble that last year stole many hearts at Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), is enthusiastic about its tour of Europe scheduled for July this year.

The ensemble, made of artists from Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, Norway, Israel, Canada and Germany, will perform at various arts festivals and venues in Germany and Norway.

On arrival in Bielefeld, Germany, on June 27, they will have a two-week rehearsal at Theaterlabor before holding school and university workshops.

Artistic director and founder of Wocalling, Cecilie Giskemo, said, “The group will rehearse previous and newly composed musical, poetic and choreography material with old and recent musicians from Zimbabwe, England and Norway.

She added that two specially invited female performers from Germany will take part in the rehearsals and following tour in the represented country.

On July 15, Wocalling will proceed to Norway where it is expected to have a workshop and concerts at the Fjellfestivalen (July 15 – 18) in Åndalsnes. The group will also take part in music festivals such as the Moldejazz (running from July 18-23)and Mela Festival (July 29-31).

The tour ends early August. Tour manager Franziska Kramer said the tour dates have all been confirmed except a single venue in Germany, which is yet to get back to her before the tour begins.

Zimbabwean artists, who include two males, are vocalists Prudence Katomeni Mbofama, Fallon Richardson, Ruth Mbangwa, instrumentalist Vimbai Mukarati (Saxophone), dancer Maylene Chengerai, and poets Nicholas Monroe (Dikson) and Aura Kawanzaruwa (Aura).

Under its theme ‘female identity in the arts’, Wocalling hopes to achieve a unique fusion of traditional African music and dance and Western types of music while working with female artists from different cultural backgrounds.

“We wish to work with women and define our roles as artists and creative performers in the arts industry of today. As we view these two ideas as closely integrated, we aim, in particular, to observe the differences and similarities between the European female artist in her context and the African in hers,” said Giskemo about the theme.

She added that from this tour Wocalling hopes to create mutual understanding, exchange and support, which will empower the local and regional artists in their work. Last year, the project has performed at other venues in and around Harare (Zimbabwe), as well as recording their first album titled “WoCalling - Røyst in collaboration”.

Author: Beaven Tapureta
Director - Writers International Network Zimbabwe