MARQUETTE—The award-winning Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana will perform at Northern Michigan University on Saturday, March 14. The multi-media dance event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Forest Roberts Theatre. The Saakumu Dance Troupe is dedicated to introducing global audiences to the essential role of dance and performance in the everyday lives of residents of Ghana. Led by Ghana’s master gyil—African xylophone—player and national icon Bernard Woma, the group’s repertoire includes a range of spiritual, ceremonial and recreational genres in addition to contemporary African dance forms. The music and dance is described as joyful, expressive and highly participatory. Woma has toured the world as a xylophonist and lead drummer of the national Dance Company of Ghana. Recent appearances include a performance with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. Saakumu’s U.S. tour is in conjunction with the 53rd anniversary celebration of Ghana’s independence from Great Britain. In 1957, it became the first African country south of the Sahara to gain its freedom from British colonial rule. The dance performance is sponsored by several NMU offices and departments. Tickets are $3 for students $12.50 for NMU employees and $15 for the general public. They are available at all NMU EZ Ticket outlets or online at www.nmu.edu/tickets. Woma will arrive on campus early on March 11 to conduct workshops and presentations for NMU students. His visiting professorship is sponsored by the King Chavez Parks Initiative with assistance from NMU.