Day 3: Homa Bay and the Kochia Dancers
With Lake Victoria as the backdrop to the studio we recording the visually spectacular Kochia Dancers.
We drove from Kisumu to Homa Bay; we’re on Lake Victoria now at Homa Bay (still 1PM on your Lake Victoria dial) but a little more south and a little more west, on the south shore of the Winam Gulf.
After a long drive, we set up at the hotel in a beautiful field against the lake – we’re surrounded by camels and pelicans, which is frankly a bit off putting. The pelicans are big enough to fly us away, but luckily we don’t smell like fish. We smell like a lot of other things by this time – there aren’t a lot of opportunities to wash and you’ll notice a lot shots of us in the same Singing Wells t-shirt – but luckily not yet fish. Fish would turn their noses at us.
Our set, below, with recording equipment set up under the bar and the dancers ready to do their stuff…
Pelicans fly over head constantly, but show little interest in the black shirted smelly crew:
And camels rest and watch…they spit a lot but we don’t take offense:
The Kochia Dancers: Today is all about dances, so our videos will be much better than still photographs. But first, as always, let’s get you into the mood, with an excerpt; this one is Winyo and Jessie joining the dancers in an influences session:
And now let us introduce you to the dancers; here in full glory are the Kochia Dancers who dance in the Ramogi style of dance (ref: for a great article on the Ramogi dance of the Luo, by Helen Odwar, click here):
Here is the chief drummer…
Here is their leader, Villiam Odero Ondiek:
Here is the coolest Kochia Dancer you will ever meet in Homa Bay:
The band in full dance:
Above, one of the dancers plays the Tung’, the Luo horn. Note how beautiful the long head-dress is. Below they dance with the Tung’; please note that person with his back to you is wearing a skunk:
After the dancing, we completed an influences session, which is the music we included in the ‘Excerpts’ session.
And then posed for pictures:
Including some ‘arty ones’:
And that concluded the afternoon with the Kochia Dancers.
The Singing Well Team
30 November 2011