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Drums... drums in Siem Reap

Bloco Malagasy drummed up a storm in Pub Street in 2014. ROMAIN COGNE
Bloco Malagasy drummed up a storm in Pub Street in 2014. ROMAIN COGNE

Drums... drums in Siem Reap

Bloco Malagasy, an all-female drumming band from Madagascar, is back in Siem Reap for their third tour this weekend. The band will be performing at Cayo Coco on Sok San Road this evening, part of a 30-day tour across the region, and one of a number of performances during their stay in Siem Reap for a tour that aims to promote responsible tourism.

The popular group hope to attract the same record crowds that they have in the past. “More than 400 people come to see them in 2014,” said Frédéric Breerette, the owner of Cayo Coco, who has been coordinating with the NGO Bel Avenir (“beautiful future”) to bring the troupe to Siem Reap. “People love their energy, so it would be great to see them appreciated again this time too.” 

The group of 10 girls from underprivileged communities in Madagascar play batucada, a form of Afro-Brazilian percussion renowned for its energetic pace and powerful, repetitive rhythms. 

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The group also played in Chong Kneas village during their 2014 visit. ROMAIN COGNE

Bloco Malagasy can trace their roots back to Battambang 25 years ago, when the Coconut Water Foundation was founded by Jose Luis Guirao Piñeyro, who wanted to promote women’s rights and cultural exchange. 

The band will also perform and host a workshop at Les Dauphins Guesthouse at midday today, and at Belmiro’s Pizza and Subs on Monday at 6pm.

There will be a parade through town on Sunday, culminating in a two and a half hour show at King’s Road Angkor, starting at 6:30pm.

The tour continues for another two weeks in Battambang, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville before moving on to Thailand.


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