The Sidis of Gujarat are a tribal Sufi community of East African origin which came to India eight centuries ago and made Gujarat their home. They carried with them their exceptionally rich musical tradition and kept it alive and flourishing through the generations, unknown to the rest of the world. […]

Sidi Goma perform in a group of twelve: four lead musicians (drummers and singers) and eight dancers. The programme presents an overview of Sidi ritual performance, from the traditional muezzin call to prayer to a staged ritual performance. It centres around a danced zikr (prayer), consisting of joyful, satirical praise dances to their Saint, who is attributed with giving them the joy they express in their dances. Intoxicating drum patterns that “speak” the zikr prayers in rhythm support the dancers who perform virtuosic feats of agility and strength, gradually reaching an ecstatic climax. […]

Sidi Goma: The Black Sufis of Gujarat from On Being on Vimeo.

A dance workshop held at the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota and sponsored by the Ordway Center.

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