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 Malawi   Ensemble folklorique national « Rising Choreos »

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Malawi is a country in East Africa landlocked between Tanzania to the northeast, Mozambique to the southeast and Zambia to the west. It is a country that stretches from north to south all along Lake Malawi, the latter constituting the natural border with Tanzania and Mozambique. The country is between eighty and one hundred and fifty kilometers wide. A quarter of the territory is made up of lakes including Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa.


Malawi has the particularity of being very small compared to other countries in the region such as Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Somalia. It offers superb contrasting landscapes for beautiful safaris in arid chasms or green plains.


Bantu peoples settled in the region as early as the first century AD. Then the country experienced a succession of kingdoms linked to Swahili traders from the coastal regions of Mozambique, and with Zimbabwe. In the 14th century, the Chewa kingdom dominated the region, extending northwest of Lake Malawi. The Yao, Nilotic pastoralists from southern Sudan, established themselves in the country. The Ngouni left South Africa during the conflicts arising from the creation of the Zulu people and the arrival of the Boers. Driven out by the Zulu expansion, they pushed as far as northern Malawi. Having become an English protectorate, the country gained independence on July 6, 1964 and took its current name of Malawi. In fact, the name Malawi was chosen because it was inspired by the word “malavi” meaning “mist” or “reflected light”. This word was seen as a reference to the sun rising over Lake Malawi, therefore a symbol of new glimmers of hope for this territory.


The “Rising Choreos” Folklore Ensemble is the country’s national dance company. It was created on November 6, 2009 to preserve the popular arts of this new country. The company has traveled the world and organized projects and cultural exchanges with Zambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Denmark. Her repertoire includes the most important pieces of Malawian folklore. More than eighty traditional dances are recorded. These are factors of social cohesion and are performed during festivals and ceremonies (funerals, inductions, rites of passage, etc.) by all members of a community or only by certain categories of the population.


The “Gule Wamkulu” is a ritual dance of the Chewa people, practiced as part of the Nyau rite in the Lake Malawi region. Also called the “big dance”, the “Gule Wamkulu” consists of the release of several masks which feature characters from daily life with the aim of passing messages and lessons. It is practiced both day and night and can take place for purely spiritual reasons or simply for celebrations without mystical foundations.


“Rising Choreos” takes you into the African steppe in pursuit of its people and its legends. The show never stops and invites you to discover a little-known but so endearing Africa.

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