The Children’s School was honored to host an award-winning troupe of young artists from Uganda, Abantu Mu Buntu, who gave a thrilling performance of traditional songs, dances and drumming for the children. The 11 talented performers are all high-school students from the Tender Talents Magnet School in Kampala. The troupe’s name, Abantu Mu Buntu, means “people in harmony.”
The show opened with a video so the children could see the performers “back home” in their community, going to school and rehearsing with their teachers. This peek into daily life in urban Kampala helps expand our students’ understanding and appreciation of how children live in other countries.
Wearing beautiful costumes, Abantu Mu Buntu delighted the children with songs, dances and a dramatized version of a traditional folktale. The choreography was inspired by tribal dances from around East Africa, including an intricate dance for girls balancing baskets on their heads and one in which the boys, wearing leg rattles, showed off their best moves to impress the girls. They demonstrated how a drum circle is a “conversation” between five drums with different sounds and personalities. The troupe sang in several different African languages but gave a tongue-in-cheek finale with “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.
The children didn’t just enjoy a thrilling performance, but also had the opportunity to try out some dance steps, shake the leg rattles and try out the drums and harps. These person-to-person interactions were an important component of the performance. The young performers were equally excited to receive an enthusiastic TCS welcome and tour our school. For most of them, this was their first visit to the U.S., and they were learning about American culture by staying with local families.
We are very grateful to the Norwalk-based Creative Connections for bringing such talented young artists to perform for schools in our area. In these intimate, arts-based interactions, our students gain a new perspective on their own culture, build their cultural literacy and become interested in what life is like in other countries.
Enriching encounters like these open up the world to children.