CAS Does the Du

The cast from the Du at SIUEWednesday May 30, 2012 students from the anthropology department teamed up with students from the department of theater and dance to perform, “Forbidden Love: Na Mini Du,” an abbreviated version of a traditional Surinamese Du play.  The performance is the product of an IS class taught by Kathryn Bentley (Department of Theater and Dance) and Aminata Cairo (Department of Anthropology).

The Du is a form of Creole theater that utilizes a set of stock characters who are applied to varying plot lines. The performances include common themes and elements such as: a respect for mother earth, drum music, ritualistic activity, and performance of the Banya dance.  These plays were traditionally used to show status among slaves and as an avenue for social commentary.  The version performed by the class is shortened from a traditional Du which could last all night.

The class will be taking this performance on the road to the “Triumph in My Song: 18th and 19th Century African Atlantic Culture, History & Performance,” conference from May 31 until June 2 2012.

“When I saw this conference publicized I thought that it would be perfect,” Bentley shared.

Cairo and Bently’s IS class will be performing regularly on Fridays during the summer with the next two performances being July 8th at the Main Street Community Center and July 15th in SIUE’s Goshen Lounge.

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