Course: Traditional Performing Dance

Created by Laurien Nyiribakwe

Sources: Video I. [9 min]- Video II. [14:37 min] -Video III. [5:10]
Date of creation: January 30, 2020
– Hashtag: #Traditional dance,
– Intended audience: Young Rwandans in diaspora, Group trips to Rwanda,International students of performing dances.

Summary: Performing Dance introduces the culture of dance among adults learners of Banyarwanda, those living in Rwanda and in diaspora. While this course can be elaborated and extended to other cultures, I have focused on its practical aspects and on Rwandan culture. The video is presented by professional trainers.Both male and female are considered. The video show how dance at the core of a social activity where Rwandans and non-Rwandans express their joy and unity through dance.

Analysis. The three video allow the learner to start from simple steps toward more complex performances. The trainers explain how to follow steps of dance as the practices is moving on. The learner can discover how to dance as an individual and in group. The video shows that one can cultivate Rwandan dance and perform it nicely. The beauty of dance lies in the story it tells, bringing together the cultural richness, to shine inner joys and smiles, to display deep and stunning energies that capture attention of both the performer and the viewer.

Reflection. I was born and raised in Rwanda, the so-called a country of thousand hills. One the most marks of Rwandan culture is dance. In my twenties, I attended many lay and religious ceremonies where dances were performed. I watched different styles of dances. Some of them were displaying lots of energy, such as ikinimba style of the North. I was stunned by young men and women as the jump up and down, shaking the whole surrounding. Uah! At first glance I thought that dance is something universal, that anybody can make it, that Rwandan dance is known in the whole Africa and even elsewhere. When I travelled in Eastern Africa, I found that Kenyan and Ethiopian people have their style of dancing, e.g the Masai and Kikuyu dance. As a student in the United States, I found that dance is rather something Hollywoodish, exotic or more often romantic! Yet people would enjoy seeing Rwandan dances, they would be stunned of seeing the beauty of the gesture, the choreography, the sense of reverence. Of course, not everybody would feel comfortable to learn and come to stage for dance as many Rwandans. Not all Rwandans do it either. It is a school, an art to cultivate. The Rwandan dance is a beautiful art that could be introduced to many people. It will take a whole person, one’s psyche, one’s energy, one’s body and mind. The Rwandan dancer would get to appreciate that dance is a medium of non-verbal communication joy, of celebrating the gift of life.

Curation. The curated materials teacher adults learners by meeting individual teachers a group of dancers. Many of video are posted on Youtube. I have selected materials which can help a learner to enjoy dance step by step. Yet the interested learner could encrypt beautiful dancers such intore Massamba, Cecile Kayirebwa, and many other hashtags.While many songs are narrated in Kinyarwanda, the learner will read the english translation on the screen.

The core.Dance takes one beyond his or her embodiment.It cements people’s relationships, it exhibits and nurtures joy of being and belonging, of being active as a personal and a social being.

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