Chinese Opera opens in the make-up room of the People's Theatre in Canton, where the cost is preparing for a 300-year-old Cantonese opera called Niu Yi Chuan Su, a romance, and then moves on to an acrobatic training school for future opera stars. The video concludes with a performance by the Northern Opera Group in Beijing. The viewer is given an in-depth, first-hand experience of this fascinating ancient art form.
This is a collection of films made with a Super 8 movie camera. The Gambian scenes were made in 1970 with a silent camera, the sound recorded on a Nagra III tape recorder. The scenes from Guinea and Mali (nos. 5 and 6), were made with a sound-sync Super 8 camera. Digital technology, expertly implemented by Elio Trabal, Oberlin College class of 2004, has enabled the release of these glimpses of late twentieth-century musical activities. There are ten scenes, two contributed by renowned Gambian expert David Gamble.
Each scene focuses on a specific event or musical group. Five are devoted to regional sub-groups of the broad Mande culture. The Mandinka of the Gambia, the Karanko of Guinea, and the Serahuli of Mali. The other five scenes feature the Fula, Balanta, and Jola people. Also included are glimpses of the Super Eagles, a popular Gambian band, and the first Gambian president, Sir Dawda Jawara, speaking at a political rally.
Born in New York City, Soh Daiko has taken taiko from its Japanese homeland and drawn inspiration from the living world culture surrounding it. This is the story of a collective drumming community and an empowering Asian American art form, from its beginnings in the basement of the New York Buddhist Church in 1979, as told bu its founders and its former and present members.
Thai folk songs and dances - such as the beautiful fingernail dance and the precision bamboo dance - are filmed in performance, as is a segment from the classical the epic poem/dance, the Ramayana. The program also looks at Thailand's rural cottage industries and river trade, explores temple ceremonies, architecture, and religious art as well as the Buddhist way of life in the monasteries and villages.
The Mevlevi Dervish Order was founded in the 13th century by Mevlana Jeladed-din Rumi, a poet and mystic who rebelled against orthodox Islamic beliefs by replacing formal prayers with songs and dances. The Dervish order was banned in Turkey in the early 20th century, but once a year the government allows the Whirling Dervish ceremony to take place at Konya in Anatolia where the religion was founded. This extraordinary occasion is shown as a sequenced presentation with more than sixty-five devotees spinning like tops in a ritualized pattern, ultimately achieving an experience leading to religious ecstasy.
Contains 18 scenes filmed originally on Super 8 movie film in 1970 and 1982. They were released on VHS in the 1990s by Original Music as Music of the Mande, Parts I, II, and III.
For this edition the accompanying booklet has been rewritten and expanded to include all song texts and translations in PDF format on a separate disc. All of the scenes from Music of the Mande videotapes Parts I, II, and III are included and have been carefully re-edited and brought into sync wherever possible.