The award-winning Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana will share a repertoire reflecting traditional and contemporary cultures at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre.

The event is a collaboration between SUNY Oswego’s Music Department and Artswego Performing Arts Series.

“Saakumu” means “traditions,” and the company derived its repertoire from a variety of both traditional and contemporary cultures with creativity. The group’s repertoire ranges from spiritual, ceremonial and recreational genres to contemporary African dance forms. 

The resident dance company of the Dagara Music Center (DMC) based in Medie and Accra, Ghana, the Saakumu Dance Troupe dedicates its work to introducing new audiences to traditional and contemporary Ghanaian dance and music.

The artist-founded association is driven by a passion for bringing innovative dances and world music to audiences through performances in Ghana and abroad. Created by master musician Bernard Woma, their music and dance is joyful, expressive and highly participatory. The troupe has been the designated official performing group at the National Festival of Art and Culture, the largest cultural festival in Ghana.

The DMC’s population comprises university students, music teachers, dance teachers, cultural anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, history/culture teachers, musicians, visual artists, dancers, sociologists and humanitarian activists from around the world. The DMC also teaches local youth groups in the Ghanaian public and private school systems throughout the year.

Saakumu Dance Troupe has a strong educational and community engagement component that flourishes both at home in Ghana and along their tours. The group has developed programs in schools and colleges that involve all levels of participants in dance and music workshops, residencies and interactive engaging performances. Their educational work strives to promote the value of hands-on, experiential involvement in the arts as a tool for global and cultural understanding as well as a way to deepen the understanding of West African music and dance among students of all ages.

The campus community is invited to meet members of the Saakumu Dance Troupe and learn dances and traditional percussion rhythms essential to the culture of Ghana at a free session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on March 8, also in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert are free for SUNY Oswego students; $5 for other students;  $15 for faculty, staff and alumni; and $20 for the general public. Advance tickets are available at any on-campus box office, or at the door on the day of the event.

For more information about arts events at SUNY Oswego, visit