Senegalese Dance and Faith Healing

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       O.K. so there is no relationship between Senegalese dance and faith healing but I encountered both of these in the same evening last week. One of my students Samuel was kind enough to invite me to the dance performance Banlieue by the Diagn’ Art Company at the Alliance Française Accra. The performance was a mix of traditional Senegalese and contemporary dance with text from Roland Fichet. The dance was about the phases young men go through in Senegal as they become men. Of course this was all in French so I didn't understand a word, but the choreography alluded to a lot of the themes that they were addressing. They were amazing dancer and I found the performance to be very moving. It was refreshing to see something contemporary. As a foreigner a lot of places I visit like to emphasize the traditional and historical. That's all very interesting but I'm just as interested in what is being created in the present. 

     So after the performance, I returned home to find over a thousand screaming Christians in an open field across from my apartment. On any given night this field is a place where local Christians will form prayer circles, preach the gospel and rejoice. Some so to speak in tongues. Anyway, on this night Robert Ampiah-Kwofi, faith healer was on hand to do some good old fashioned healing. There was a sound stage with a full band and the whole entourage of people in suits and a camera crew on stage. It was quite the spectacle. Fortunately they were good about binging the event to a close before midnight.