FENDIKA,Traditional Ethiopian music and dance, Ethiopia today at Lotus,World Music & Arts Festival is one of the oldest world music festivals in the U.S.
The musicians and dancers of Fendika come from Addis Ababa and draw deeply from the well of Ethiopia’s azmari music, a tradition developed by itinerant bards. The seven-member group includes two dancers, two singers, and instrumentalists who play kebero drums, masenko (a one-stringed bowed fiddle), and krar (a five- or six-stringed lyre). Founder Melaku Belay is also virtuoso interpreter of eskista, or the traditional trance dance known for athletic shoulder movements that presage hip hop and breakdancing. Though Fendika interprets azmari music of the Ethiopian highlands and dance forms from southern Ethiopia, Somalia, and Afar regions, don’t expect a classic folkloric presentation. “My artistic vision is to present the rich musical traditions of Ethiopia to the world, while also including a natural innovation in our expressions. I believe that culture is always changing, but should also honor its roots and sustain that heritage while building cultural opportunities for the future,” stated Belay on WorldMusicCentral.org.
Lotus brings the world to Bloomington’s doorstep! The flagship event of the non-profit Lotus Education and Arts Foundation the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival is one of the oldest world music festivals in the U.S. and the only festival of its kind in the state of Indiana. Now in its 23rd year, the Festival annually showcases 25-30+ top artists from around the globe, for audiences of over 12,000 people of all ages and backgrounds. Lotus transforms downtown Bloomington for the Festival, creating a large, pedestrian-friendly perimeter and filling 6-8 different venues simultaneously with music, dance, and visual arts. Venues range from large outdoor tents perfect for dancing, to family-friendly city parks for interactive workshops, to intimate churches and art spaces suited for attentive listening and contemplation. Ticket-buyers get a wristband that provides access to all Festival venues, allowing listeners to sample, discover, and relish in unexpected encounters.
Saturday, September 17: Lotus Saturday Evening Showcase