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Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi to Perform Oct. 13 in Center for the Arts

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: September 13, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at University at Buffalo will present Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts, UB North Campus.

One of the greatest percussion ensembles in the world, the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi have performed in the same way for centuries, passing down ancient African traditions and techniques from father to son. In Burundi, drums are sacred and represent the powers of fertility and regeneration. Through use of their drums and the ancient rituals that surround them, the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi channel the primal energy and creative spirit of African tradition into the ultimate rhythmic experience.

The rhythms of Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi are performed on four separate types of drums. The large drums, "Ingoma," are made from hollowed tree trunks covered with skin. The "Amashako" drums provide a continuous beat, and the "Ibishikiso" drums follow the rhythm of the central "Inkiranya" drum. The thunderous sound of the drums, along with the graceful and athletic dance that accompanies their performance, are an important part of Africa's rich culture -- they were traditionally a part of sacred ceremonies, such as births, funerals and the enthronement of kings.

About Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi, The New York Times has said, "A constant parade of players improvised on the central drum, dancing to the rhythms, leaping or twirling drumsticks in the air or around their necks…. It was all a celebration of ability, the sheer pleasure of competitive creativity and strikingly similar to what happens in a jazz jam session, more virtuosic than sentimental."

Tickets for Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi are $26.50 general admission and $13.50 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and through tickets.com. To charge tickets, call 1-888-223-6000. For more information, call 716-645-2787 or visit http://www.ubcfa.org.