Bodu beru means 'big drum' and gives its name to the best-known form of traditional music and dance. It is what tourist resorts put on for a local culture night, and it can be quite sophisticated and compelling. Dancers begin with a slow, nonchalant swaying and swinging of the arms, and become more animated as the tempo increases, finishing in a rhythmic frenzy. In some versions the dancers enter a trance-like state. There are four to six drummers in an ensemble and the sound has strong African influences.
This is also the entertainment at private parties, where a few guys will play the drums and everyone else dances - more and more frenetically as the night goes on.
Local rock bands often perform at resorts, where they do credible covers of old favourites. They may incorporate elements of bodu beru in their music, with lots of percussion and extended drum solos when they're in front of a local audience. Two popular bands are Mezzo and Zero Degree Attol - CDs from these, and quite a few other bands, are sold in Male' music shops.
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