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ANANSE! early in the day

Dear Teachers,
From where do stories come? Why have we made such an effort to preserve them since the beginning of mankind? Stories hold significance regardless of their source, be it observation, imagination, or a little of both. Hidden in their folds are pointers to truths we wish to hold for a moment, to contemplate, absorb their depth, and pass them onward. Ahh… and the way of passing on a story is as revealing as the tale itself. Images from the past, colored by time, come shaped to evoke emotions in the present, weaving new knowledge and significance into our memories. They bring from the past vital tools to deal with the present. Images and imaginations work together to lead us to the sense of the story and of life.

Ananse! Early in the Day is drawn from the many cultures of Western Africa. The Ashante (Ghana), Yoruba (Nigeria, Benin), Bobo (Burkina Faso), Fon (Benin), Ewe (Ghana), Fulani (Mali), folk art provided the visual and narrative inspiration. Combining their oral tales, visual art (masks, masquerades, sculptures) music and movement we have created a rich and comprehensive experience. This lore is the ancestor of African American stories and traditions that have become part of our American tapestry. What do we hope our audience will gain? Feelings, understanding and memories.

Balaphone, gourd rattle

Bells, kalimba Drums
Under the direction of Clarissa Lega, producer, and Leon Fuller, director, this professional touring company is involved in all aspects of production. Collaborating with four highly trained puppeteers and many other talented artists, they create works of puppetry for performance. Their attention to detail from story line through puppet and set construction and on to original music and choreography, becomes a complete interplay of the arts in their final works.
ANANSE! early in the day

Retold by Clarissa Lega

Music arranged and performed by Ekpe Abioto and Carlos Reyes

Lyrics by Clarissa Lega

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