19 May 2008

Stephen Ssenkaaba

IT was the kind of production that dazzled, perhaps even puzzled some people. The Carnival of the Animals staged last weekend at Aga Khan secondary school in Old Kampala was not many Ugandans’ typical classical music presentation, not even to those that follow this genre.

Inspired by Le Carnaval des Animaux, a 19th Century musical suite by French Romantic composer, Camille Saint-Saëns, this year’s production comprised a most unusual amalgamation of themes and ideas.

The production by The Kampala Ballet and Modern Dance School in collaboration with Kampala Music School blended fine classical music, fine dance and improvised theatrics.

The fine orchestra conducted by Fred Kiggundu Musoke made fine accompaniment to the calculated dance steps of ballet students who at different intervals played out the suite’s 14 movements portraying different animal characters.

The lions roared, the hens and roosters crowed and patched their feathers, the elephants, tortoises, fish, kangaroos and swans made a musical appearance on stage, each accompanied by a rendition of different tunes and instruments.

As the music played, the young ballerinas swayed and swerved on the stage in fluorescent costumes. This was put into social context by the bold theatrics of the MC, John Mary Mukiza, whose poetic prowess and blaring baritone kept the audience abreast with the goings on.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/200805200090.html

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