The Ndere Dance Troupe
June 22, 2011
If youâ€™ve ever traveled to Uganda, chances are youâ€™ve witnessed a performance by the famous Ndere Dance Troupe. If not – youâ€™re missing out.
As we continue in our exploration of the Ugandan culture, it only felt appropriate to bring your attention to a group of performers who are renowned as representatives of their country and continent. Song and dance are integral elements of Ugandan culture, remnants of the tribal and regional groups that make the country so diverse. The Ndere Dance Troupe are regarded by many as cultural Ambassadors and have travelled the world to share the beauty of the African culture with others.
The Ugandan word endere means â€œfluteâ€, and Ndere Troupe therefore can be translated to flute troupe. According to founder Rwangyezi Stephen, this name was chosen as a symbol of world unity. The flute has been incorporated into every one of the worldâ€™s cultures. It is a musical instrument whose sound can be manipulated to represent a great variety of meanings. The Ndere Dance Troupe prides themselves on celebrating the similarities as well as the differences between the peoples of the world and expressing this through dance. At Building Tomorrow we feel much the same way – we view our support of under-served communities in a foreign nation as a means of supporting the world community as a whole. Our cultures and traditions may be different, but we at Building Tomorrow hope that one day each personâ€™s opportunities to live out their dreams will be equal.
Since 1984, the Ndere entertainers have shared the beauty of Africa with visitors from far and wide. The organization considers themselves Africaâ€™s dancing encyclopedia. Before a written language existed, tribal history and knowledge was passed down from generation to generation through song and dance. In an effort to keep this history alive, the Ndere Dance troupe performs using indigenous instruments and techniques. Their repertoire includes over 40 traditional Ugandan dances and songs from different regions of the country. They also perform dance commentaries on more modern, social themes such as health, economics, education, and government.
More than 60 artists belong to this troupe, whoâ€™s three stated goals are to foster social development, develop artistically yet socially disadvantaged youth, and rekindle a sense of pride amongst young Ugandans. Their focus on the great power and potential of youth parallels the Building Tomorrow mindset. We seek to provide all young people the chance to create extraordinary lives for themselves through education. Similarly this group of dancers provides opportunities for young performers to develop their talents and perform culturally relevant pieces.
Song and dance are integral to Ugandan and African cultures. The Ndere Dance Troupe are one great representation of such passion for performance. For more on the Ndere Dance Troupe see their website.