Lamar State College-Orange will be celebrating Black History Month on campus with an exciting performance from the award-winning Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana, West Africa. The show will be held in the Student Center Gym on Feb. 13 from 12-1:15 p.m. Admission is free and is open to the public.

The Saakumu Dance Troupe is dedicated to introducing an audience to traditional and contemporary African dance and music. “Saakumu” means traditions, and as the name implies, the company derive its repertoire on the variety of both traditional and contemporary cultures with creativity. The Troupe says they are an “artist-based association driven by a passion for bringing innovative dances and world music to their audiences. In addition to collaborating with artists and presenters of all kinds, they are committed to building new audiences via live performances.”

Led by master musician, Bernard Woma, the Saakumu Dance Troupe is one of the leading traditional and contemporary dance and music groups in West Africa. Performances include everything from spiritual, ceremonial and recreational genres to contemporary African dance forms. The music and dance is joyful, expressive and highly participatory.

“The band that is coming with the dancers is called the Bernard Woma Band,” said Wendy Elliott, Director of Student Services. “It really is a combination event between the band and the dancers. I expect the performance to be a very energetic, interactive and authentic experience of West African dance and music.”

The Troupe has performed at notable governmental functions, national and international music and dance festivals throughout Ghana and West Africa. They are the designated official performing group at this year’s National Festival of Art and Culture, the largest cultural festival in Ghana. One of the many facets of their mission is community outreach and educational programs in schools and colleges.

“The community is welcome to join us for the event,” said Elliott. “LSCO strives to provide activities that promote cultural awareness. Come join us in celebrating Black History Month.”