Setapa is a celebratory style of dance and music born of the Ngwaketse tribe of Botswana, and characterised by rhythmic stomping, joyful singing, the sporadic sounds of whistles and horns, and garments fashioned from animal skin. The style was originally performed to entertain guests at weddings and other large gatherings. In this video from 2013, Umkhathi Theatre Works – a troupe based in Njube, Zimbabwe, and dedicated to preserving and celebrating African culture – performs a vibrant Setapa as part of the DanceAfrica programme at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. More than just a fascinating slice of southern African culture, the performance is an almost instantly absorbing and uplifting spectacle to behold.

10 January 2022

Aeon Video

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