By Jasminee Sahoye
A flash mob video by Obeah Opera, an Afrocentric group, performed in the Story Arts Centre Library at Centennial College, has gone viral with the hope of attracting donors for an Obeah Opera fundraising campaign for their Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games presentation.
Produced and directed by Glace Lawrence, the video features Nicole Brooks, a Toronto-based filmmaker, director, performer, singer, playwright, composer, curator, teacher and ‘art-ivist’, who started singing Di Moon Song, written and composed by her.
She is joined by a number of others in the library, including Tara Woods, aka, Macomere Fifi, the reigning Canadian Calypso Monarch.
Brooks has developed the concept of “harmonized storytelling”; blending media and performing arts, and spent over 15 years envisioning narratives that illuminate the peoples of the African Diaspora.
She says the Di Moon Song is a Caribbean folk song and is quoted by the Toronto Observer as saying that incorporating different genres of urban music into the opera made it connect with more people. “Everyone seems to have some kind of tie to it. “It crosses cultures and generations.”
Last year, Brooks sent her opera’s concept to representatives of PanaMania, the cultural component of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am games and it was accepted. So during the games next year, Obeah Opera will showcase their performance at the games as one of 27 commissioned acts.
Brooks says Obeah Opera needs additional funds to stage the performance although the Toronto games have provided some funding.
Their goal is to raise $250,000 to help build the set, design the period costumes and assemble a cast of 25 vocalists.
Check out the video at http://youtube/q-JNupB7JNw.
To donate, follow this link to Canada Helps Nightwood Theatre and select “Culchahworks Development of Obeah Opera” www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nightwood-theatre/.