East Africa’s landlocked Republic of Uganda will be parading its pride and promise on Sunday, April 1 at 1 p.m. when an amazing troupe of 11-22 year olds, artists from their nation, will share their culture and creativity.
“Spirit of Uganda” will ignite the stage of the Regina A. Quick Center on the campus of Fairfield University in a dramatic presentation you will not want to miss. With the powerful native choreography and song of their people, clad in traditional colorful costuming, with joyful instrumentation, these spirited youth will bring their country to life.
They are the ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.5 million orphans who are the devastated victims of civil war, poverty and HIV/AIDS, raising awareness and funds to better their plight.
Wearing the costumes inspired by traditional and modern Ugandan textiles and patterns, the ensemble performs a repertoire that includes such pieces as the ‘Hurira Engoma,” a bravura showcase for the girls as they balance clay pots on their heads while dancing to traditional and contemporary choreography, and ‘Larakaraka,’ an Acholi dance from northern Uganda, where the dance’s title became a rallying cry and therapeutic dance for those who had been abducted by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Another piece, ‘Ekitaguriro,’ is from the nomadic Banyankole of western Uganda, who cherish their cattle that they tend to for a living. This dance praises the long-horned cows of Ankole and Rwanda, found nowhere else on earth, and the dancers imitate their sounds, rhythms, and movements.
“Dance and music in Africa are the ‘Breath of Life,’” explains Peter Kasule, the company’s Artistic Director. “The deeper we breathe, the longer we live, and the more diverse and culturally rich we become. The beauty of African dance and music lies in the authenticity of our embedded traditions that are carried from one generation to another.”
Peter Kasule, who is also “Spirit of Uganda’s” Master of Ceremonies and its founding Artistic Director, is a musician, composer, and choreographer who researches and arranges all repertory, and casts and rehearses the troupe, producing the company's music recordings. Born in Kampala, Uganda in 1981, he lost his parents to AIDS and lived at the Daughters of Charity Orphanage from 1989-96. He was an original member of the Children of Uganda company and served as that group’s director from 2004-2006.
Tickets ($15 adults, $12 children) are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396 or online at www.quickcenter.com. The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield.
Come celebrate this living history as “Spirit of Uganda” shares its empowering message of hope with the people of Connecticut.