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Izabobo: African Culture in Vancouver

9 September 2005 at 22:06 | 844 views

Despite contacts with Africa and Africans spanning decades, many Canadians still know little or nothing about the continent.Especially in British Columbia where the Nigerian playwright Comfort Ero resides. Her play, Izabobo, is coming up soon in Vancouver, Canada.It will,certainly, shed more light on this continent and remove some of the cobwebs of ignorance.Read more about IZabobo below.

In most African beliefs, life is characterized as a circle with certain marks that maintain its existence. Izabobo is a play that attempts to illustrate this wisdom through dramatic dialogues around birth, death, marriage, and culture. The play is bound to keep its audiences fascinated as it intertwines a rich mélange of drama, music, dance, and poetry as an instrument to convey an African philosophy in an entertaining way.

“Izabobo promises to be one of a kind in Canadian theatre practice,and a unique revolution in African Art,” says Comfort Ero, who wrote and directed the play. She explains that the play is a “dance drama,” a popular genre in her native-Nigeria. Dance drama simply put is theatre that gives equal weight to dialogue, music and a variety of
dance, in expressing and illustrating the main themes of the play.

Izabobo’s major theme is in its title which is an onomatopoeic word
from the Bini sect in Nigeria - that directly translates into
“celebration of life.” This in-depth style of celebrating underlines
the play’s sub themes which flow from birth to death, and of course
the good, the conflict and the bad that form major milestones in
between. These are presented in the form of funeral and marriage celebrations among others. The conflict is brought to life when the main character, a village girl: Edugie, fights the pull between the traditional (village) life style and the glitter of the city.

Izabobo will be presented by professional actors and dancers of African heritage, all based in BC. They all come from various backgrounds ranging from Africa to the Caribbean and thus bring a unique portion into the play’s presentation. The choreographer, Anna Zadi, originally from the Ivory Coast, is a well know dancer in the
Masabo Culture Company - a dancer that thrills her audience with her
amazing rhythmical moves that effortlessly yet rigorously interprets
the djembe drum. Others like her in the realm of African dance and
drama are also found in professional dancers Ese Ero and Jean Pierre Makosso who play leading roles.

You get four chances to catch Izabobo at the Norman Rothstein Theatre.
The play will be staged at 8pm on the 23rd to the 25th and a matinee at 2pm on the 25th. With this burst of opportunities, one cannot afford to miss this rare opportunity of viewing an African dance drama. Izabobo promises to bring to you an unforgettable experience of
African wisdoms, through the rhythms of drama and drumbeats.

Cost for general admission is $25.

Seniors, Students and Children under 12 - $18.00

For Tickets: Contact Festival Box Office @ 604-257-0366, or buy online
at Tickets also available @ the door.

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact, Show
Publicist - Ellie O’day at 604-731-3339 or email

Izabobo is written and directed by Award winning Nigerian-born author, Comfort Adesuwa Ero who to date in BC, has written, produced and presented The Lioness Can Also Roar and the Dance of the Leopard among others.

IZABOBO!, An African Musical Drama

Celebrating Rhythms in the circle of life

September 23rd, 24th and 25th, 2005

At the Norman Rothstein Theatre, 950 W.41st Ave (41st Ave. & Oak St.), Vancouver.

Photo: The playwright, Comfort Ero.