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Malawi has a wide range of Arts to show , from traditional dance to up and coming hip hop artists. There are many opportunities to see local artists , from small concerts to the internationally renowned Lake of Stars music festival.
Malawian music is eclectic and tends to take its influence from many styles, genres and countries – from Jamaican Reggae to Swedish Electro. Reggae is extremely popular with The Black Missionaries gaining international recognition along with The Makambale Brothers who mix Reggae with traditional music played on their homemade instruments. Hip Hop is another popular genre with up and coming artists such as 3rdEye and Biriwiri performing alongside more established artists such as Tay Grin. Malawi is also not without its well established more traditional musicians such as GiddesChalamanga , Lucius Banda and Joseph Tembo.
There are many theatre projects, groups and productions across Malawi ranging from Shakespeare to aids education drama groups. The Nanzikambe Theatre Arts Project, based in Blantyre (Southern Malawi), aims to create diverse theatrical forms of expression rooted in African Culture by working with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to develop a flourishing theatre industry. The Project puts on adaptations of of classic dramas such as ‘African Hamlet’ as well as plays based on current affairs such as ‘Accidental Death of Democracy’.
There are also many charity projects that use theatre in community education of issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention and the environment. Story Workshop is based in Blantyre and works with local people to bring about social change by combining communication and creative entertainment. Many local charities also have Drama Group, such as the Malawi Home Based Care Drama Group who perform free plays to large audeinces on issues relating to HIV/AIDS. Theatre for a Change is another project that uses theatre in education and teacher training.
Dance is an essential part of the Malawian lifestyle; a child dancing to a boom box powered by car battery is a regular sight in towns, cities and the countryside. The Malawian national dance troupe ‘Aka Kwatcha’ has performed all over the world leading to other dance troupes being set up across the country. The Blantyre based Elements Dance Crew have drawn much recent attention with their spectacular routines. Another, more unexpected, form of dance performance is Shaolin Displays by the Amitofo Care Centre.
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