Utamaduni Dance Troupe's
"the Second International Theatre and Dance Festival"
in Lahore Pakistan, November 1997.
The UTAMADUNI DANCE TROUPE is the
performing part of the 20 years old cultural exchange program between Denmark and Tanzania
called DARAJA LA UTAMADUNI (The bridge of culture).
Since 1977 the UTAMADUNI DANCE TROUPE has woven a tapestry of dance, drum, and song
rhythms into a bond of friendship with local farmers and handicraft artists from the
Sukuma tribe in Tanzania.
The UTAMADUNI DANCE TROUPE brings alive Africa, right here on the spot, with its colourful
and expressive performance.
The artists inside the UTAMADUNI DANCE TROUPE are all professional dancers and musicians,
and have all been on many studying and performing tours to Tanzania and other African
The performance at the festival in Lahore brought European artists, inspired by African
cultural expression, before a Pakistan audience as a symbol of meeting of cultures from
three continents at the "golden jubilee" of Pakistan.
The performance was a miscellaneous extract of traditional Tanzanian dancestyles,
including Bulabuka, Bugobogobo, Sogota, Malivata and more...
The background for Utamaduni Dance Troupe's participation in the Second International
Theatre and Dance Festival, was an invitation from the organisation behind the festival,
the leading theatre company in Pakistan, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop.
The festival was held in Lahore in the period from 13-23 November 1997, to mark the fifty
years of Pakistan's independence under the themes of freedom and independence.
The Utamaduni Dance Troupe was a part of the official Danish contribution to this
significant jubilee, and was consequently sponsored partly by the Danish ministries of
culture and foreign affairs.
The Utamaduni Dance Troupe is the performing part of the now more than 20 years old
cultural exchange co-operation between Tanzania and Denmark, called "Daraja la
Utamaduni" (The bridge of culture).
The dance troupe was invited to Pakistan as an example of a long lasting fertile and
popular cultural exchange between a poor and a rich continent.
The project was started more than 20 years ago, in 1997, when a group of 25 Danish artist,
theatre performers, and ethnographs was travelling to Sukumaland in Tanzania, also partly
financed by the Danish ministries. This year, we are proud to state that the project has
not only survived, but was grown to a strong organisation and more than 28 performing
groups spread out over Denmark and Scandinavia.
Members of the dance troupe is teaching at schools and institutions of higher education
all over the country and in Scandinavia.
Apart from this, the Utamaduni Dance Troupe is organising one of the major African culture
events in Denmark called: "Utamaduni camp" / "Cultural camp". Here we
gather aprox. 500 people who are dancing, singing, eating and living together for one hole
week. The theme for the hole week is African culture, with a focus on Tanzania. Our camp
is so popular that we have to refuse many applicant, due to problems of housing all.
At the festival in Lahore thousands of Pakistani people was experiencing that a colonised
continent as Africa, can inspire Europe culturally.
It is of a great importance for Danish people, as well as for Pakistani people, that we
can gain cross-cultural understanding, as a indispensable tools for global peace and