Dance Week Uganda 2015 takes place this weekend (April 17-19) at Kampala’s National Theatre but low publicity will not see that many bums on seats this time around. Now in its 13th year, Dance Week Uganda has soldiered on as a calendar arts event showcasing contemporary dance. This even with the diminished opportunities for practitioners vis-à-vis its music and drama counterparts. It could be that dance is a highly visual medium while music and drama can be given audio treatments and that offer residual satisfaction.
Half of my heart wanted to write off the inaugural Kampala International Theatre Festival as yet another of those Uncle Sam cultural imperialist missions. But after the Sundance Institute-funded November 26-30 five-day stage fest, all I wanted to do was give the Festival Director Deborah Asiimwea platonic hug. This was theatre with as much story as trend. Minimalism was the gist here; small casts, minimal props and run times of 90 minutes max! There was no need for humongous cast sizes and up to six hours of playtime!