Perhaps you belong to that legion of arts cynics who feel theatrical dance ended with the demise of the annual Namasagali College dance “productions” better known for their cheesy Mills-&-Boons story lines and cheerleader dance choreography. And it could be that not even their reincarnation in the form of the “noughties” phenomenon that was the now defunct dance wonder Obsessions, a posse of A-level school-leaver youngsters, convinced you enough to believe in an apparent theatrical dance revival. Tabu-Flo Dance Crew ought to erode that skepticism, what with their new imaginative dance outing Kalabanda: The Skeletor. Its lone weekend run at the National Theatre will definitely renew your faith in the arts if prior, you were part of the chorus that has written off our national cultural hub as a decaying shell.
The fully dance production builds on the boarding school experience, an important rite of passage for many Ugandan youth. Through the years, boarding school culture has formed its own stories and legends for outgoing students to remember after they had left, and for incoming students to anticipate. Most popular among these myths is the legend of the kakalabanda – ghostly apparitions or spirits who would terrorize boarding students in the night, stealing their belongings and harassing them mercilessly. Kalabanda; The Skeletor uses a fusion of African movements, break-dance and other Hip-Hop styles to explore this mythology through the eyes of some of Uganda’s boarding school students, alongside a fresh perspective on the role of boarding school education in forming Uganda’s next generation of leaders, thinkers and artists.
And Tabu-Flo live up to that billing by positioning themselves as the next generation of artistes leading the fundamental change to rekindling the Golden Age retired arts practitioners speak so fondly of. Precision dance choreography meets imaginative sound effects and a galaxy of lighting effects delivered by a posse of performing artistes bold enough to push the envelope of arts creativity. So make your way to the National Theatre from Friday to Sunday September 27-29, 7.30pm each day for only UGX10K and UGX20K for preferential (VIP) seating.
Text: MOSES SERUGO (kampala1ne.wordpress.com)
Pix: Kibuuka Photography