Adowa is a documentary film about oral literature in dance and preserving the culture of the Ashanti people of Ghana . A young artist of Ashanti heritage travels to Ghana to capture the beauty of traditional funeral dance called Adowa of the Ashanti people. The film explores how the Adowa dance came to be and the tradition and history behind this dance using language, music, and the movements of the Adowa dance to reveal the story.
How can the beauty of culture and tradition be kept in the movement of a dance? In many African cultures, traditions are passed on throughout generations by storytelling and also often by dance. Unveiling the stories of the past that are often told in an oral tradition on film could be what Africa’s next generation will use to protect and preserve culture. A young Ashanti artist seeks to do just that by visiting the Ashanti region of Kumasi Ghana and venture out to explore the traditions associated with Adowa dance. The Adowa dance of the Ashanti people of Ghana is a dance performed at funerals, marriages, and other special occasions. This dance is embedded with cultural traditions and the dancers along with the drummers seek to tell a story in each step of the dance.
A combination of melody and movement, Adowa is one of the fascinating traditions of the Ashanti people. From the attire of the dancers, the instruments, and the complex movements; Adowa will be examined through this documentary as oral literature in dance and preserving the culture of the Ashanti people. Because of the oral tradition of the Ashanti people of passing on history by storytelling, the origins of the Adowa dance and its significance is somewhat unknown. The symbolism within the dance is more of a reference point to a time in Ashanti history. The meanings behind the movements of the Adowa dance hold a different meaning now within the Ashanti region of Ghana as colonialism and religious influence change the demographics of Ghana and the attitudes of people towards certain traditions. The dance is now replicated throughout Ghana but the original Adowa dance of the Ashanti people is still revered as the most sacred form.
In this documentation of the Adowa dance, the use of the medium of film (digital media ) will show the Adowa dance significance to the Ashanti people by taking the movements of the Adowa dance and using them to tell the story of the ancient Ashanti Kingdom, and how the history of this kingdom is still preserved by its descendants today with this dance amongst other customs. Going back in time with each melody that directs a movement, Adowa will start with a dance then using music and song to further breakdown the story behind this dance. The Ashanti Akan dialect of Twi to aid in further unmasking the origins of this dance and how the beauty of culture shared and captured in this dance is connected to the history of the Ashanti people.
Produced by Rebekah Frimpong andAma. K. Abebrese
Directed By Rebekah A. Frimpong
Narrated By Afia Frimpong and Sarfo Ofori-Frimpong
DP-Cinematographer Stephen Miles
Casting MK Casting (Ghana)
Edited by Jean Baptiste Sankara and Rebekah Frimpong
Translated and Consulting by Harold K. Frimpong
Production Assistants Mariona Lloreta and Tatiana Wynn
Ghana Line Producer Mawuko Kuadzi
Soundtrack By Various Artists (Wanlov, Hezekiah, Peter Barr,and Nana NYC)
ADOWA – a documentary film written and directed by Rebekah A. Frimpong and produced by Ama K. Abebrese, Mawuko Kuadzi, and Rebekah Frimpong is currently raising funds to shoot on location in Ghana this summer and in the US. Support ADOWA by making a 100% tax deductible donation to ADOWA/Dance Films Association using the instructions below.
Ghanaian-American filmmaker Rebekah A. Frimpong has teamed up with acclaimed actress/producer Ama K. Abebrese and Mawuko Kuadzi of MK Casting in Ghana to create her new documentary feature length film: ADOWA-Oral Literature in Dance and Preserving the Culture of the Ashanti People. The documentary film is written by Frimpong, and is about the oral literature in the Adowa dance, cultural preservation, and the traditions of Ghana. ADOWA will be shot on location in Ghana this summer and in the US. With appearances from known Ghanaian historians, Adowa dance troupes, professional Adowa dancers, and interviews with Ghanaians who have unique stories to share about the dance. ADOWA is set to show this traditional dance in a new light. The film is set to be released later this year and is fiscally sponsored by Dance Films Association in New York.
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