[2013012] Drum Fiasco

[2013012] Drum Fiasco [FringeTIX]

Seneoz @ Gluttony – Pig Tales

2:30pm, Sat 16 Feb 2013

When I planned out my first Saturday schedule, I did so under the impression that it was going to be in the low thirties during the day; not the best tent-show weather, but bearable. So when I looked at the temperature before leaving home and saw that it was thirty-seven degrees… well, I started feeling a little concerned; I’d scheduled four tent shows in a row.

Given the weather, there’s a surprisingly large turnout for this performance; but lots of families means lots of children, and I was half-terrified to discover how they’d handle the heat and humidity within the Pig Tales tent. But in the end, I needn’t have worried… because once the four Seneoz drummers (led by djembe player Karamba Cissoko) started pounding out the African rhythms, everyone seemed to forget about the oppressive conditions.

Their opener was, all things considered, a suicidally high-energy piece that just kept giving – and, after a few piercing whistles, Seneoz’s acrobat Iddi Waziri took to the stage, dancing and leaping and tumbling around, all while rallying the crowd. Far from being an afterthought or distraction, Waziri’s physical activities seem to be an integral part of the Seneoz performance, with the drummers always keeping one eye on his antics.

The second piece was a little more sedate in tempo, but Waziri kept the visual engagement going with some bottle percussion and balances. Later pieces got more lively again, and there was plenty of audience interaction, with Waziri fetching youngsters from the crowd to teach them limbo techniques or dance moves.

Despite the heat, and the necessary hydration & sweat-mopping breaks, the Seneoz troupe all appeared to be genuinely enjoying themselves – indeed, the second djembe player, Jacqueline Goudkamp, never stopped smiling. And the audience – including myself – left the sticky venue buoyed by the experience; Seneoz provided a genuinely unique and exciting musical (and visual!) experience.

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