Keiga Foundation launches ‘Empowering Women in Dance’ Project

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March 1, 2021 | Written by Katarina Boland

Women’s Day Celebration Rehearsals (edited)
Original image by Alex Poper, Poperpics Studios 
Contemporary dancers in Uganda face numerous challenges in terms of funds, resources, and training and performance opportunities. Despite these challenges, contemporary dance has been gaining recognition. Most noticeable is that women, as role players are still under-represented in positions of power in this art form in Uganda. Although one sees that traditional Ugandan dances have clearly defined roles for men and women and enjoy equal gender participation, the contemporary dance scene in Kampala is currently dominated by male dancers and directors. This significant imbalance may be evidence of the larger context of gender inequity in Ugandan education, a trend which starts at the primary school level. For example, the Ugandan Poverty Eradication Action Plan (2004) further states that ‘the incidence of tertiary education is highly unequal both by income group and gender’. In the field of professional dance performance, women are still largely under-represented and invisible.
To reduce this imbalance and increase the visibility of women in professional dance in Uganda, we are launching a cross-cultural dance training and creations project for young and emerging female dancers/choreographers with Keiga School of Dance. This 1-year intense multi/interdisciplinary training program will culminate into 3 performances spread over the duration of the project. While the program will formally end after a final performance of the participants, links to national, regional and international artists, dance companies and audiences will remain beyond project completion.
This project was scheduled to start in January 2020, but had to be put on hold due to COVID-19. Today we are very excited to announce its resumption: on March 8, we will celebrate International Women’s Day with a dance performance by participants of our first Women Empowerment program. Rehearsals have already started, more information about the performance and the dance and creations training soon!
Be sure to check our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates!

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