Fendika – a super-group of top traditional musicians and dancers from Ethiopia - returns to NYC and Joe’s Pub with their signature mix of authenticity and innovation. Fendika’s musicians and vocalists are rooted in the ancient azmari tradition of bardic minstrels, while the dancers draw deeply from the well of tradition, but also tap joyously into their natural creativity. Fendika leader Melaku Belay is the world’s foremost interpreter of eskista, a traditional Ethiopian trance dance of athletic shoulder movements that presage hip hop dance moves like breaking and popping. Fendika has just returned from their first hugely successful tour in Spain, after thrilling New York audiences at Lincoln Center in summer 2011.
“The rhythmic virtuosity of Melaku was often astounding. He can turn either the upper or lower body into an electrifying vehicle of rapid pulsation...Simply to see him sway his body to the music was a marvel: the angle of his out-held elbows, the pliancy of his spine, the rhythmic point of those shoulders all made their sensuous contributions. A happily superlative artist." Alastair Macaulay, New York Times