DanceAfrica-BAM's longest running program and one of its most beloved-returns for the 42nd year with a focus on Rwanda. By BWW News




The festival features one of Rwanda's best internationally-known dance companies, Inganzo Ngari, and several related programs to illuminate a country that moved past a national humanitarian disaster with collective determination.

 

Twenty-five years after the Genocide, during which up to one million people-estimated to comprise 70% of the Tutsi population-were decimated, Rwanda has rebounded with a robust economy (annual GDP growth over 6% in the past five years) and a society determined to move towards reconciliation and renewal. "When we visited Rwanda," DanceAfrica Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam said, "everywhere we went, Rwandans no longer divided themselves as Hutus, Tutsis, or Twas. They are just Rwandans." Inganzo Ngari is an example of it. Founded in 2006 with a focus on passing Rwandan folkloric dance and music to the next generation, the company has become an ambassador of Rwandan culture internationally and is making its US debut at BAM. They will perform some of the most recognizable Rwandan dances, including the warrior dance Intore, and collaborate with BAM/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble on stage.

 

To reflect the contemporary Rwanda, several new elements have been created. They include spoken words performed by actor and poet Malaika Uwamahoro as part of the Opera House show, an interactive "DanceAfrica Portal" to Kigali, and a RadioBook Rwanda reading and discussion. A visual art exhibition and FilmAfrica with several contemporary Rwandan films round out DanceAfrica once again. More information below.

 

Many long-held traditions return, including the Tribute to Ancestors, the Community Day, the Outdoor Bazaar, and the late night dance party, all free to the public.