The Umurisho drumming show from Burundi is a highly respected African art form, with intoxicating rhythms and intricate stick-handling techniques. Burundi drummers are representatives of Burundi folklore. This ritual dance surprises and fascinates because it’s unique in the world to impose (the cadence of the dancer) drummers to follow the movement of the dancer.

The best of the African drumming:

drummers enter balancing drums on their heads At the start of the performance, the drummers enter balancing the heavy drums on their heads and singing and playing. There are some extra members who carry ornamental spears and shields and lead the procession with their dance. The dancers perform a series of rhythms, some accompanied by a song. The play of drummers is relevant to sound and gesture rhythm that fascinate generations with mixture of spectacular gravity and admirable fantasies. The music expresses the popular and vital joy. The drummers use two sticks of 30 to 40 centimeters, known as imirisho, to beat the drum.

Drums placed in half circle and drummers take turns playing Drums are placed on half circle of 12 to 25 following an ascendant order. One drum called Inkiranya, is placed at the middle, and is reserved to the leader of the dance. Drums are divided in two parts based on their rhythms. The first part of drums called Amashako provides a continuous beat and their drummers are known as Abakokezi. The second part of drums called Ibishikizo follows the movement imposed by the dancer and the drummers are called Abavuzamurisho. The latter observe the movement of the dancer, because the change of the rhythm is indicated by his/her gestures.

The drummers take turns playing the Inkiranya, dancing, resting and playing the other drums, rotating throughout the show without interruptions. They then perform a series of rhythms; some accompanied by song, and exit the stage the same way, carrying the drums on their heads and playing. The performance of the Royal Drummers has been the same for centuries, and their techniques and traditions are passed down from father to son. .

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