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'Phenomenal Woman', a woman in search of liberty and love

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					'Phenomenal Woman', a woman in search of liberty and love
‘Phenomenal Woman’, is a contemporary narrative –dance drama, artistically narrates the
traditional social status, values and challenges in a woman's life colorfully by amplifying
the violence, sexism and the male chauvinist exercise in which a woman undergoes in a
‘traditional society’ of Ethiopia. In this marvelous performance the most ablest young
and talented dancers and players explores techniques of modern jazz, bale as well as the
Ethiopian traditional sounds of music and rhythms.

Contributed by Abinet Getchew

 ‘Phenomenal Woman’, is a contemporary narrative –dance drama, artistically narrates
the traditional social status, values and challenges in a woman's life colorfully by
amplifying the violence, sexism and the male chauvinist exercise in which a
woman undergoes in a ‘traditional society’ of Ethiopia. In this marvelous performance
the most ablest young and talented dancers and players explores techniques of modern
jazz, bale as well as the Ethiopian traditional sounds of music and rhythms.

 The story of this narrative contemporary dance-drama is based on the poems by
famous black American female gender equity activists Maya Angelo’s in
particular on the popular piece "Phenomenal Woman". However, the
chorographer, Wubit Abate, gave into it a fresh idea and insight by her own
original poems which limelight young women's challenge in the Ethiopian
contemporary society.
In this narrative dance-drama prominently depicted a young woman's life ups and downs
in the search of her freedom human/man-made calamity in dance and music with a
beautiful Ethiopian and western popular songs. In this artistic exploration, techniques of
modern Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop as well as various Ethiopian indigenous folk dance forms
and music styles which cautiously employed in order to glorify the theme and the mood
in the different scenes.
 The show tells us about a young woman who have been given to a man in
marriage by her parents when she was thirteen. However we see her in brave
that the short-lived marriage life didn’t make her to give in to claim and search for
her choice- beloved one. This young woman claims her phenomenal being in the
search of the right sweetheart in the face of against all odds. Nevertheless as
she quotes;
                      ‘When the lord
                      Closes the door
            He always opens the window.’


 The romantic Abyssinian artistic exploration appears with its highest blossom in
the scene where the leading finds her sole mate/ lover in which we move with the
love song and melody that accompanies an overwhelming feeling of liberation in
which we find our own sole rejoicing happiness, life and love. The handsome one
whom she praises as;


              An Abyssinian handsome
                                  block
               That nobody but nobody
                            could evoke
                             anything to
                         I loved him so.....
 In the course of this very vigorous narrative-dance drama, we see the leading
being triumphant and enjoying her being woman once again before the
unfortunate moment comes in which she finds herself once again in so heart-
breaking for ‘lost of love’, as we all humans do, for his family couldn’t accept her
legitimate due to her schooling and ethnic background which they think low.
The show reflects vividly, rather indirectly, the situations where young women
could be vulnerable for different threats such as early marriage, various forms of
violence and economic dependency, which is the case that are said to be few of
the several factors that drags women prevalently for prostitutions and other dark-
corner way of life that in turn makes them at high risk for reproductive health
hazards including HIV/ADIS.
Nevertheless the show entertain us when the leading woman reaffirms or
maintains her stamina before the challenges of loneliness and bewilderment in
making sure that she is the one to make her choice and destiny. However, the
phenomenal women, as she claims and confirm for herself now and then in the
play, we see the young and self-confident leading roll as her search/lust for life
and love goes on. She says ‘even pretty woman wonders where my secret /her
phenomenal being/ lies’
                      'It’s in the arch of my back
                           the sun of my smile


                           the ride of my breasts
                            the grace of my style
                           I am a woman
                              Phenomenal woman
                              That’s me'
 'Phenomenal Woman' shall be staged in various venues of high Schools, Universities and
other academic and vocational training institutes in Addis as well as in regional towns.
The cardinal aim is to address the youth community. Therefore, hundred-thousand youth
shall be participants and in attendant.
 Since the youth in academics and schools are the one who shall be taking part and play
the major roll in the forthcoming social, economical and political life of the nation, the
objective is to create awareness on traditional customs and harmful practices and attitudes
which attributes for major hindrances for social transformation and development in the
country.
Besides, this major objective, the producing company conceders that youths shall be
entertained and nourished when they exposed to indigenous and modern art forms in
order to have be proud citizens who appreciate difference in societal values as well as in
the cultural legacy.

 Mekuria Theatre Studio and Entertainment (MTSE) is a private company which
has been effectively operating in the last ten and so years in the field of
performing arts. This company, runs under the prominent theatre director Abate
Mekuria, also operates as the National chapter for the Eastern African Theatre
Institute (EATI). MTSE is a pioneer in educating and use the methodology called
‘theatre in development.’ By employing this methodology, the company and its
professional member practitioners have been conducting a number of training
workshops to enhance the performance skills for Amateur theatre, circus and
music youth practiotners in Addis Ababa as well as in major rural towns.
                      Performers


  Dancers,


 Mentesnot Getachew
 Genet Aneleye
 Mohammed Salah
 Fiseha Gezahegne
 Tiseon Getahun
 Edelework Tassew/ also narrator/
 Helen Legesse
  Musicians Mingestu Gezachew / saxophonist, Gezachew Teshome/ Vocalist
, Alemayew Goshu/ keyboard

				
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posted:8/23/2012
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