The Man has Moves...and a Big Medal

Tribal dance of the Antandroy about resurrecting the dead. Hands down the crowd favorite (especially the dead guy).
July 19, 2011 Text and Photos by Chad Lebo

Officially, he is Jean Paul Razafinjatovo. To Akany Avoko, he is simply Dada Be (granddad). To the country of Madagascar, he is a national treasure. The dancer, musician, singer, storyteller and orator has been performing for over 50 years. And for that dedication and devotion to the traditional arts of Madagasacar, Dada Be has been honored by the Ministry of Culture with the Grand Cross of the National Order, the second highest honor a citizen can receive.

To celebrate his achievement, a dance celebration was held by his performance troupe. Akany's children were also in on the celebration and performed several dances. All the photos are from that extraordinary show by an extraordinary artist, Dada Be.

[Do not forget to click below to see all the pics. And please click on the photos to enlarge and see Dada Be in all his graceful glory. He is impressive small, but even more impressive big.]
Try doing this when you reach retirement age (note: please check with your health care provider first).
A gracious and humble Dada Be receiving his honor from the Minster of Culture himself.
Some of Akany's girls dancing at the celebration. Just some of the thousands of students Dada Be has taught over the years.
The man can dance anywhere, standing, jumping or even sitting.
Not a waltz. That's for sure.
Malagasy dancing is not just about skill and strength; it is also about color.
Dada Be may as well mean "grace" in Malagasy.
The tradition carries on. Dada Be's daughter is also an accomplished dancer as well as an instructor at Akany Avoko.
What to say? That's just cool.

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