2009 Bayimba “Rhythm and Dance Workshop”


Prior to the Bayimba International Festival of Music and Arts (scheduled for 12th-14th June 2009), Bayimba Cultural Foundation organises a number of workshops for artists. For this year, a Rhythm and Dance Workshop is included.

The workshop will run under the theme “Our contribution to society” – and the general objective of including it is to create more awareness and a wider interest in dance within Uganda – focusing on the development of contemporary dance and how it can be used to positively influence societies.

Contemporary dance in Uganda is still nascent and does not yet receive an average local public. Whereas other disciplines of performing arts are attracting masses – the development of contemporary dance is still in infant stages. For the recent past – most of the dance performances have been based on Hip Hop dances – a few groups that have been engaged have had rather limited audience – and the available dance creations have also been based on copied performances from music video and televisions, causing the lack of creativity and original creations especially on the issues relevant to our Ugandan society.

Set-up of the workshop

The Rhythm and Dance Workshop will be led by established Ugandan dancer/choreographer Jonas Byaruhanga and Kenyan dancer/choreographer James Mweu. The workshop will bring together two already practicing dancers from the Eat African states – (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania). Special emphasis will be put on the youth and young dancers – also individual dancers are expected to attend.

The dancers will work together in a nine (9) days workshop and learn from each other and collectively work on a piece that will articulate the role of art and culture in society – The dance piece that will be produced during the workshop will be performed at the Bayimba International Festival of Music and Arts as the opening performance (12 June 2009). The piece can also be performed at other occasions around the time of the festival.

For the arrangement of the performance music for the workshop, the dancers will closely work together with a live African drumming group – using traditional instruments … It is expected that the use of traditional live music will help the dancer learn using such live music to perform for a wider public.

Expected output

  • Unique dance piece as a result of collaboration between East African dancers
  • Concluding with a performance at the festival and any other subsequent platforms during the festival period – reaching out to a wider audience.
  • Documentation of both the workshop and the performance.

Expected outcome

  • Promotion of concept of combination of contemporary dance with traditional live music
  • Increased collaboration between dancers across the region
  • Wider interest of public in modern dance
  • Building on to the confidence of the performing participants mostly those intending to take dance as a career.

Specific objectives

  • To educate the participants on how they can use contemporary dance to pass on positively relevant messages
  • Provide a platform for networking and exchange of ideas
  • Merging different dance disciplines and backgrounds – encouraging integration of all forms of dance into contemporary dance


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