After the festive and stunning anniversary edition of 2013, with many big names and familiar faces, the Afrikafestival Hertme goes on upon his adventurous way of surprises, new talent but also big names.
After more than 15 years Habib Koité comes back to Hertme. He has a new band and recently released a beautiful new album Soô.
Aziz Sahmaoui with his 'University of Gnawa ', a mixed Moroccan / Senegalese band, is experimenting as a professor with the music of the Gnawa culture.
Teta, the tsapiky-style guitar-wizard from Madagascar comes for an intimate concert.
The famous group Mamar Kassey from Niger.
Among the other seven groups are known names and a number of debuts in the Netherlands including a group playing for the first time outside of Africa, so an European debut.
When there is more certainty about them, w'll publish the names.
The first African circus working with disabled and deaf people
The amazing Ethiopian Circus Debre Berhan was formed in 1998 in the town of the same name, three hours away from Addis
One can find circuses all around Ethiopia, in Addis Abeba and in various smaller towns. Although it's not an old tradition in the country circus has a very important impact on communities, as they often mix stories about society (violence on women, HIV prevention, etc.) and more straightforward performances. The Circus is working with more than 100 acrobats, including children.
One of the important features in this circus, however, lies in the fact that it employs performers who have physical disabilities as well as those who are deaf. It is the first African circus working with disabled people. These performers, both those in the children’s act and the adult’s act, are extremely talented. Circus Debre Berhan’s shows open with the children’s beautiful and often very challenging acrobatics, followed by the adult act, which is staggering in its intricacy and difficulty. The performances are usually held in public spaces such as markets and main squares where possible in order to reach and entertain as many people as possible.
At the moment, Circus Debre Berhan is touring all over Ethiopia with its hundred or so performers split into small groups, to cover the vast countryside. If it continues its success, it will hopefully help change perceptions of disability and stigma.
Ferocious five-piece band with two phenomenal dancers
Fendika is a troupe of highly accomplished Azmari musicians and dancers. Founded in 2009 by Melaku Belay, a leading dancer, the ensemble is based at Melaku’s famous music club Fendika Azmari Bet in Addis Abeba. In Ethiopian culture, an Azmari bet is a traditional house of music where people come to be entertained, informed, and sometimes playfully insulted by the Azmari, who serve as current events commentators while they dance, sing, and play for tips.
Melaku is one of Ethiopia’s foremost dancers of the eskesta, a traditional Ethiopian trance dance of athletic shoulder movements. Growing up as a street kid, Melaku learned many regional dances of Ethiopia. He has travelled throughout Ethiopia to learn the dance traditions of the country’s 80 tribal groups. The musicians and dancers of Fendika present a cultural journey starting in the highlands of Tigray, Wollo, Gonder, and Gojam and so on.
Melaku Belay, daces;
Zinash Tsegaye, dance;
Misale Legesse, kobero (trad. drums);
Endris Hassen, masinko (one cord violin);
Nardos Tesfaw, vocals.