A portion of this video appears in the Walden Media film, "Nims Island, starring Jodi Foster, 2008.
The Anlo Ewe are an Ethnic Group living in West Africa spanning across Ghana, Togo, and Benin. They are most known for their intricate music styles, which are taught at Universities throughout the world.
This DVD is the first of its kind, an instructional video featuring the prestigious "Ghana Dance Ensemble", performing each part of four rhythms so students can see exactly how to play the parts.
The four rhythms included are:
Drums used in this video are Atsimevu, Sogo, Kidi, Kaganu, and Gaokogui.
After each drum part is demonstrated, the Ghana Dance Ensemble performs the rhythm as a group in its entirety.
After the rhythm demonstration, the dancers also show some of the moves so drummers can get a feel of what the dance is like. This is extremely helpful in learning how the beat falls with the dance movements.
This interactive DVD was shot at the beautiful Legon Botanical Gardens at the University of Ghana and was co-produced by the Institute of African Studies and Dr. Irene Odotei, with Vijay Rakhra as Director and Editor.
There is a menu chapter for each part and pristine audio and video quality throughout.
This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.coms standard return policy will apply.
Rate Points :3.0
Label :Vijay Rakhra Productions
Manufacturer :Vijay Rakhra Productions
Studio :Vijay Rakhra Productions
Publisher :Vijay Rakhra Productions
Lowest Price :$25.95USD
Customer ReviewsDubious deal
Rating Point :1 Helpful Point :0
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Rating Point :4 Helpful Point :0
"Dance-Drumming of the Anlo-Ewe" is a good instructional video. It features four rhythms commonly played by the Anlo-Ewe peoples of eastern Ghana. Each chapter introduces a rhythm by showing each musicians part. The camera angle shows how each instrument is played from both the front and back. For the drummer, it is the behind angle that shows what an instrument will look like as played. Afterwards, the parts are all put together as the entire rhythm is played by the Ghana Dance Ensemble. Finally, the dancers demonstrate their moves. This process is played out for the Kinka, Agbadza, Slow Agbekor and Fast Agbekor rhythms. For the uninitiated, Agbadza is one of Ghanas great rhythms. While shot on video, the picture quality for this instructional DVD is excellent. The natural setting on the University of Ghana is a compliment. While instructional videos tend to be dry, the band puts on a good show for the camera. With the exception of not being able to hear the group sing, the audio is excellent. The lack of narration has two drawbacks. For starters, the audience never gets to hear the pronunciation of the rhythms or instruments. As an example, youd never know that Abadza is actually pronounced "ag-bye-jah," unless youve studied Ghanaian rhythm. The other drawback to the lack of narration is that the viewer never learns about the cultural context or history of the rhythms. In what situations are these rhythms typically played? Are these religious or recreational rhythms? Accompanying print material or a web site could have compensated for this lack of information. Another potential drawback is that the Slow Agbekor and Fast Agbekor rhythms are remarkably similar to the Agbadza. Thus it seems a bit like the consumer only gets two actual rhythms with this product. A final issue is that the disc lacks chapters as accessed through a menu. Thus the viewer must chronologically click through each micro-section to arrive at a destination. Despite drawbacks, there is no peer to this DVD. There have been books on the topic, but their content remains elusive for many who would like to play Ghanaian rhythms. This product is perfect for both individuals and institutions of any educational level. "Dance-Drumming of the Anlo-Ewe" stands as a wonderful instructional program that share the rhythms of Ghana with the world.
Instructional Video for Drummers and Dancers
Rating Point :4 Helpful Point :1
This is not like most videos one comes across typically. The format is the musicians playing one of Ghanas traditional song/dances as an ensemble, then breaking it down part by part for a bit of time so one can learn the specific rhythm pattern of each instrument. I must admit after four such tutorials I grew a bit fatigued, but it is cool at the end of each separation because they have the ensemble play together again, and the dancers join in to demonstrate the moves appropriate to that style. All-in-all the video is geared for drummers interested in West African styles, and as such it is not for every audience. I did find, however, that in the ethnomusicology class I teach, the students were very attentive and paid close attention, especially the musicians. The only complaint I have is that there is no booklet to explain what is being seen. One would have to find a book on the subject to consult for reference and significance/history. This is the main reason I did not award more stars. As before, this video is geared for serious musicians and drummers only.