Where was I when the planes hit the Twin Towers? I was sitting amongst the dignitaries, watching the opening of the first new style Semaine National des Arts et de la Culture (SNAC).
As Graeme Counsel, who was there with Daouda 'Flani' Sangaré and me, put it in his thesis: "The festival commenced with a grand opening ceremony held on Avenue de l’Independence in front of an assembled crowd of dignitaries. Under a hot sun each region and district paraded along the avenue giving the audience a sample of what was in store for the competition proper. Most performers wore traditional costumes and were accompanied by a variety of ensembles performing both modern and traditional instruments. Dancers spun around, acrobats threw each other in the air, which throbbed with the sounds of each of the performance troupes. The soirée for the opening night was to be held by the region of Sikasso, the highlights of which were their orchestra and dance troupe, the latter performing with gourds covered in cowrie shells which supplied a perfect rhythmic accompaniment."
I can add little but some photos, plus a recording made of the 'chant solo' of the Troupe de Sikasso and the dance troup who performed with the cowrie covered gourds.
And the music of this chant solo is here, and the music of the dance troup can be found here.
I will post some more recordings from the 2001 SNAC later.