Saturday January 25 2014

Dance gives Uganda own cultural flair

Kerry Erin Sloan (L) and Herman Bagonza lead

Kerry Erin Sloan (L) and Herman Bagonza lead others in the Ekimandwa dance. PHOTO BY BRIAN MAGOBA. 

By Brian Magoba

It is always such a satisfying feeling when a packed audience finds a performance worth its time. Students from New York University’s Dance Abroad programme enabled Kampala’s party types re-discover this feeling during Dance Your Rhythm, which showed at the National Theatre on January 17.

The performance showcased the products of a week of teaching workshops held at the Kampala Ballet and Modern Dance School (KBMDS). Workshops featured dance-education partners drawn from Makerere University’s Department of Performing Arts and Film (DPAF), and children of mixed social and economic background.

Signs of good times began with the opener, a processional treatment of Sweet Honey in the Rock’s We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For.
Afterwards, the audience relished watching the dance-exchange students execute Ugandan traditional dances, Amaggunju and Ekimandwa with a skill that belied the two weeks they spent learning from teachers Herbert Mukungu and Judith-Lubega Tusiiime.