Fribourg, Switzerland: the Last Dance

Some twenty Burundian artists invited to perform at the 44th edition of the Fribourg International Folklore Festival have “vanished into thin air “, to use the words of a Swiss media.

The three drummers, like the rest of the group, also "vanished into thin air"

The three drummers, like the rest of the group, also “vanished into thin air”

I will not comment such “disappearance”, because fleeing one’s country is a personal choice, very difficult and always painful. All exiles know that no one leaves his homeland joyfully. For them, it is not an Eldorado that opens up but rather a way of the cross that begins in this Europe that is increasingly being closed. For sure, they put in balance what they leave and what they risk when they try out the new life that they hope will be more promising. This is indeed a human feeling for that matter. I read somewhere that you leave “when you have no more reason to stay”.

Wherever they perform, the Burundi famed drummers thrill the halls and audiences. They arrive majestically, pacing to the captivating tune, playing their big drums poised on their heads. Then the floors and hearts begin to vibrate. Each dancer who advances in the middle of the circle has his own rhythm, his “umurisho”, and passes on to the next. It is always magic.

On a video posted on social media in Fribourg, Switzerland, instead of the whole captivating band, I only saw three poor drummers trying their best to thrill the public.

Admittedly, we can say that the trio fulfilled their commitment, but the Burundi famed drums are not played by three dancers only. It is a collective performance. It was sad to cry. A pathetic image of Burundi.

According to the Swiss newspaper La Liberté, after the show, the three drummers, like the rest of the group, also “vanished into thin air”. As a matter of fact, it was their last dance. Before the unknown. Hail to the artists …