3:13 pm - Saturday December 17, 1030

Royal Drummers & Dancers of Burundi

An Enthralling and Hypnotic Sound

“A constant parade of players improvised on the central drum, dancing to the rhythms, leaping or twirling drumsticks in the air or around their necks. It was all a celebration of ability, the sheer pleasure of competitive creativity, and – strikingly similar to what happens in a jazz jam session – more virtuosic than sentimental.” –The New York Times


Join us for a performance of dance and drums that is rooted in ritual with a fresh beat. One of the most gifted percussionist ensembles in the world, the Royal Drummers & Dancers of Burundi will perform at Popejoy Hall on Sunday, November 7, 2012 at 7:30pm. This production is part of the Popejoy’s Presents series sponsored by La Vida Llena.




The drummers create a thunderous drum sound, or the “Burundi beat” as it is known. A procession of performers, who carry spears and shields, use dance to lead others who balance heavy drums on their heads. The drummers then sing and chant as they perform a series of rhythmic movements that mesmerize audiences. The performers bounce and hop as they twirl drumsticks and pound on their drums.


The troupe comes from Burundi, a tiny country in Central Africa. In Burundi, drums are sacred and represent the powers of fertility and regeneration. These performances accompany social rituals, such as coronations of kings, births, and deaths. The group has honed its techniques from centuries of customs and practices passed from father to son. The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi channel the energy and creative spirit of a nation through their drums and the traditions surrounding them.


Since the 1960s, the performers have toured concert halls and festivals around the world. In 1993, the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi recorded a live album at Real World Studios, known for the production of wide-ranging, world-class music. The group went on to record two subsequent albums: The Master Drummers of Burundi in 1994 and The Drummers of Burundi in 1999. In 2006, the company embarked on a sold out six-week coast-to-coast tour of the United States of America and Canada.


Tickets for the Royal Drummers & Dancers of Burundi are currently on sale for $39, $29, $20. Tickets can be purchased at the UNM Ticket Offices and select area Albertsons locations, or online through popejoypresents.com or unmtickets.com. To charge by phone call (877) 664-8661 or (505) 925-5858. Group orders for 15 or more may be placed by calling (505) 344-1779.



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