Ipi Ntombi is a joyous, homegrown dance and music celebration of black South African culture. First performed in 1974, the production, with a phenomenally talented and energetic cast of 50, has delighted audiences all over the world. This video of a live performance doesn't flag for an instant. The dancers display the athletic stamina needed to run a marathon; the singers show the vocal and emotive power of grand opera. Ipi Ntombi might well be regarded as a national opera of South Africa.
The story is so primal that it seems to have sprung directly from South African soil. It begins in a tiny village with thundering ceremonial dances in colorful tribal costumes. A tender love story emerges between a village girl and young man, who has gone away to work in the mines. As her sweetheart travels from the countryside to the city, tribal ceremonies morph into break dancing, jubilant South African rock & roll, and gospel singing. The youth, torn between his village roots and urban temptations, personifies the essential African conflict between the ancient and modern worlds.
Among memorable numbers are the cobra dance, with mesmerizing glow-in-the-dark costumes, and a funky gospel hallelujah chorus that brings down the house. The spectacular wedding ceremony between the boy and his girl symbolizes a marriage of tribal and city cultures. --Laura Mirsky
I had the wonderful opportunity to see the show Ipi Ntombi, and let me tell you that I was just mesmerized by all the dancing and singing, I would recommend it for anyone to see... Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2003
I was amazed to see only positive reviews of this musical here. From a cultural/anthropological perspective this movie is horrific. Read morePublished on April 29 2003 by Kathleen M. Kelley
I have audio cassettes for Ntombi Marhumbhini. My friend gave them to me when I was in Malawi. When I came to the US, I wanted if I could find a VHS for the audio cassettes I have... Read morePublished on March 31 2002 by Peterson Moyo
I missed Ipi Ntombi when they came to London, i watcthed a FRIENDS and i loved it so much that i went out looking for one in our local b/shop but they even did not know it was on... Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2002 by Irene Panther
I have an instructional African dance video and took several classes of African dance. The dancing in both of these was lovely, and lively. Read morePublished on July 3 2001
I showed this video to my students in an African Studies course. They were mesmerized. The athletes were amazed at the intensity of the dance and the talent required to perform... Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2000 by sutton casey
I first saw Ipi Ntombi on a PBS fundraising drive. I contemplated pledging the $80 inorder to get the video. My budget then did not allow me to. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2000 by Gladstone Henry