After months of suspension – following the Covid-19 pandemic – outdoor “hiragasy” competitions resume in Madagascar. Ancientral art of the Hauts-Plateaux, the “hiragasy”, a kind of popular theater combines songs, dances, music, acrobatics and long speeches. Last Sunday, hundreds of Antananarivo traveled to the center of the capital to take part in the competition between two groups of artists among the most famous in the country.
with our correspondent in Antananarivo, Like Laetitia
Dressed in pink or multicolored dresses and traditional red jackets, about thirty artists call spectators who surround them to the sound of drums, violets and trumpets. Corruption, theft of cattle, lack of communication in couples, with their sharp speech colored with popular wisdom and humor, they criticize society.
“Hiragasy’s role is to educate, just like priests or priests,” explains Jean-Félix Ranaivoarison, a singer and songwriter for the Ramilison Besigara troupe formed 35 years ago. Spirituality, but we learn ways to live well together. We give advice. We encourage people to respect their seniors and their spouses. It is an art that comes from the countryside and the farmers and we are constantly renewing ourselves to attract the public. ”
“Hiragasy singers are not like other artists. We respect the customs of the elders. We do not wear shoes and we wear traditional costumes “, continues his brother Joachim Rafalisoa.
This popular speech art touches everything Malagasy, explains Jenny, 15, a supporter of hiragasy. “Here are all generations and all backgrounds. What touched me was when they talked about all the burdens placed on mothers. Through their words, we can learn many lessons that are useful to us in our daily lives and later. ”
Through the musical performances, scenic movements and jokes, the spectators throw tickets to the artists. But it is their applause that separates the two troops.
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