WOMAD returns to its roots
By Melanie Sjoberg
Do you need an excuse to visit Adelaide? The WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) '99 festival. February 19-21, provides them — in abundance. A variety of international musical experiences, in the midst of lingering balmy summer nights, will create a phenomenal atmosphere in the Botanic Park.
The festival program appears to have returned to the WOMAD's original emphasis — a diversity of music and dance from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, along with indigenous music of the region, and in conjunction with more contemporary influences — and away from its dalliance with mainstream western pop (although the dreary Men At Work will be appearing this year).
One of the most interesting performances in the three-day line-up will be Las Perlas del Son, an all-women band from Cuba, who capture the sounds of protest, love and dance.
Loads of high energy are promised by the Drummers of Burundi, Baaba Maal of Senegal and the African Gypsies. The Mornington Island Dancers and Bangarra should also provide some enthralling visual moments.
In addition to the three stages, there will be smaller workshops and several specialised sessions with visiting artists in the days leading into the event.
For a detailed program, more background material and sound clips, visit <http:\\www.womad99.adelaide.net.au>. Unfortunately the site links are mainly to the festival sponsors, rather than the artists and their music.
Green Left Weekly will be available at the venue throughout the weekend.