With eyes closed, the choir singing “Ngayaaya Muhumawange”, a folk song from western Uganda, had nothing to do with being black or White.
The students from Norwegian University College of Dance blended quite well with our Film and Performing Arts Students from Makerere University.
This 5th annual dance partnership last month brought something rather unique to the Wonder World Theatre auditorium in Kansanga. There was a taste of Ugandan culture in the dance.
In kikooyi bottoms and African print yellow dresses, the girls danced to songs like “Nsindila muli”, dancing genres from Buganda before travelling to Mbale with the shoulder dance.
The performances articulated the influence African dance and movement have on the world’s artistic expression, especially in Jazz. Therein we witnessed, The boot dance from Soweto, South Africa, Ugandan folk dances and other contemporary dance moves. Drumology, a live drumming experience with Peace Africa fused real African drum sounds and the Norwegian and Ugandan students jumped and chanted in the interplay.
The performances had dancers express need for harmony, peace and hope among humanity. Usage of spiritual/gospel music reflected the positive messages of joy, peace, hope and survival.
It was a learning experience from students from both worlds. “I got really inspired, got new moves that I can use in my own style. I was able to widen my technique and there is more rhythm here,” said Langseth who is a baton troll competitor in Norway.