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Bishop McNamara High School’s Traditional African Music and Dance Program to Honor Nelson Mandela
“Madiba: A Life of Courage”
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”
~ Nelson Mandela
[Washington, D.C., March 20, 2019] - Bishop McNamara High School (BMHS) is pleased to announce the Sankofa Night Production of “Madiba, A Life of Courage”. This original dance theatre production chronicles the courageous life of Africa’s famous freedom fighter Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Performances will be held on April 5-7 and April 12-14, 2019 in the Bishop McNamara Fine Arts Building, located at 6800 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, Maryland 20747.
Inspired by Mandela’s remarkable book Long Walk to Freedom, this year’s Sankofa Night Production will inform, educate, and entertain audiences with powerful sounds, rhythms, and imagery. The highs and lows in the life of a man who set out to liberate his people from the shackles of segregation and dire oppression will be brought to life on stage.
“More than 100 BMHS students have been working tirelessly to embody the spirit of South Africa through authentic dance, drumming, singing, and story-telling,” says Victor Bah, Artistic Director. “We are committed to delivering a brutally honest, yet colorful, tribute to a man loved by people across the globe. We are humbled by this opportunity to present his story in 6 sold-out shows.”
Nelson Mandela has been an inspirational role model for millions of people worldwide. After being imprisoned for 27 years, he became South Africa’s first black and democratically elected president in 1994, and served until 1999. He became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, and joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with South African President F.W. de Klerk in 1993, for their efforts at dismantling the country’s apartheid system, and for global peacemaking. Although he died in 2013, Nelson Mandela continues to inspire civil rights
activists throughout the world.
Over the years, the BMHS Sankofa program has explored and brought to the stage great works of literature, as well as important history lessons. Previous productions include Harriet and the Underground, the story of Harriet Tubman, which was also performed at the historic Warner Theatre; Violet, inspired by Alice Walker’s bestselling book, The Color Purple, Macbeth (Mambo), Romeo & Juliet (RomJuliata), Cleopatra (Kleopata), Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (Maafa), Jesus (Cristo), Hamile, An African Music and Dance interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet), and King, an told the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., honoring his commitment to justice and non-violence.
About the Director
Victor Bah is a graduate of the University of Ghana's School of Performing/Fine Arts, where he was a double major in dance and drama. He has performed on five continents, and participated in the welcoming ceremony for President Bill Clinton's visit to Ghana, as well as a performance for all of the African heads of state in Tripoli, Libya. After college, he traveled throughout Europe and Australia teaching. His experiences helped him find his niche... teaching the arts to young people while inculcating the need to understand & respect different cultures through the common humanity of the arts.
About Bishop McNamara High School
Bishop McNamara High School is a private, Catholic co-educational high school offering students a challenging college preparatory curriculum and a complete range of athletics and activities. Founded in 1964 and sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross, Bishop McNamara seeks to challenge its students to think with Christ, a thought animated by the gospel, manifested in service, and informed by academic excellence. With a student population of more than 880, over 500 are involved in the fine arts department, which provides one of the most extensive arts educations in the Washington, DC area.
For more information about Bishop McNamara, contact 301.735.8401 or visit www.bmhs.org. Bishop McNamara High School, 6800 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, Md. 20747-3270.
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