TISABAY ETHIOPIAN CULTURAL DANCE GROUP was formed under the Ethiopian Society of Winnipeg in 1997. TISABAY means "The water that smokes"Name for the BLue Nile fall. The dance group takes its audience on a journey to all parts of
Ethiopia with the help of their music and cultural dances. The TISABAY ETHIOPIAN CULTURAL DANCE GROUP's first show was performed at the Manitoba Museum during the art exhibition called Women in
Africa, Raising with the sun in 1997. Since 1997 the group has been performing all over Manitoba and have been a huge hit
at the Africa Pavilion during Folklorama.
We are now ready for the year 2002 Folklorama. We thankall the volunteers who came forward. The followings people are
the only people selected.
The participants are:
- Mimi Gulilat
- Gelila Yerga
- Ethiopia Tayea
- Hailu Dagnea
- Brehanu Misganaw
The group will have a show on August 25, 2002 a week after the Folklorama event. The show is titled "Journey
to Ethiopia". It is going to be an awsome show, we will have the complete Ethiopian all ethinc dance including
some dramas during the dance show, a beautifull historical site slid show by Ray, guest comedian and a poeam reading
by award winning 12 years old Ethiopian girl Misale Ali.
Who is Ray Dirks?
Ray Dirks grew up in Abbotsford, BC. After studies at Vancouver Community College, he spent several months in the Caribbean
and South America; his interest in other cultures, travel and art had found roots. After a three year stint back in Vancouver,
he and his wife studied French in Quebec for a year followed by two years in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly
Zaire, where Ray worked as an illustrator.
In Kinshasa, Ray worked closely with ordinary people in whom he found unusual decency and dignity. Ray left the Democratic
Republic of Congo with a passion to paint images of this positive Africa we rarely see and to help African artists present
their interpretive visions to North America. As a result, Ray has created and curated two exhibits of art from Africa. The
first, "Africa: Art of the People", toured North America for four years. The second, "Rise with the Sun: Women and Africa",
featuring art by 44 artists from 12 countries, began touring in 1995 and is booked through 1998. An African tour is planned.
MCIC commissioned the painting by Ray Dirks, and he also receives a royalty on prints sold.
At Home in the Highlands of Ethiopia comes from a place called Lalibela, a village 3,000 metres high in the mountains
with 10 ancient churches nearby. To Ethiopians, it is one of the most sacred places on the Earth. There are churches there
800 years old, literally carved out of the stone. The confident young girl shown, is the antithesis of the North American
stereotype of an African devastated by famine and war. While those conditions certainly exist, "the majority of people aren't
living in those circumstances," says Ray Dirks, the artist. "I try to bring over images of people who are industrious, worthy
of dignity and respect."
By Ray Dirks