Thrilling African dance group to spice up Ripon International Festival

Black Umfolosi.

Black Umfolosi.

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INTERNATIONALLY-famous Zimbabwean song and dance group Black Umfolosi 5 are to make their first visit to Ripon International Festival next month.

Performing on Tuesday, September 20 at Holy Trinity Church, this spectacular troupe were formed in 1982 by students at George Silundika Primary School in Zimbabwe.

The name of the group is taken from the Umfolozi Omnyama River in the Natal Province of South Africa, whence their ancestors can be traced.

The ‘Imbube’ style of music is traditional to the Nguni speaking people of Southern Africa and has immense appeal to overseas audiences.

The full eight-piece Black Umfolosi line-up limit their appearances around the Bulawayo area where they are based, but The Black Umfolosi 5 present the same spectacular songs and dances that thrill audiences all over the world.

They have recently performed in Canada, Malaysia, Barbados and Italy, leaving countless fans with precious memories of those trademark harmonies, or the sight of the legendary Gumboot Dance with its South African mining origins. Black Umfolosi is at Holy Trinity Church Ripon on Tuesday, September 20.

Other “must-see” events include a concert in the breathtaking candlelit setting of the ancient church of St Mary’s Nun Monkton where one of the world’s top five harpists, Lucy Wakeford, winner of many international competitions, is joined by award-winning flautist Kathryn Thomas for a dazzling programme of Bizet, Jolivet, Francaix, Ravel, Debussy and Elgar on Thursday, September 8, and the Chinese pianist, Chenyin Li in a programme of Haydn, Debussy and Chopin at Holy Trinity Church Ripon on Tuesday, September 6.

The Festival opens at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday, September 3 with the Orchestra of Opera North in a magnificent programme consisting of Weber’s Overture Euryanthe, Dvorak’s much-loved Cello Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony no 4.

For tickets, telephone the box office on 01765 603994 & 605508 or visit www.riponinternationalfestival.com