Event—Public Programming

Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago


Muntu Dance Company

In the Bantu language, "muntu" means "the essence of humanity." It's what the Muntu Dance Theatre seeks to express in its work and to touch in its audiences.

Founded in 1972, the Chicago-based Muntu performs authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music, and folklore. A colorful and dynamic Company, Muntu brings its audiences out of their seats and into the aisles with its unique synthesis of dance, rhythm, and song. The Company is highly regarded for its innovative repertory, preserving traditional African dance while creating new works that build on African, Caribbean, and African-American cultural traditions. We carefully research the cultural and historical significance of the dances and the societies from which they originate. As a result, Muntu is more than just a performing company. We are also a company of teachers: an essential element to the perpetuation of our art form and its accurate transmittal to our audiences. Muntu's core programs include professional performances both at home and abroad, comprehensive community arts programs, classes for the public and professional training for emerging new young artists.

Through this African dance and drum performance, Muntu will strive to create an atmosphere of communal participation, encouraging and inspiring audiences and participants to join in the celebration!

This event is part of programming related to the Newberry exhibition Photographing Freetowns: African-American Kentucky through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison, 1935-1946, which will be open through April 14, 2017. Explore slave narratives in the Newberry collection, and other collection items related to the exhibition.

Supported by a gift from Cindy Mitchell, and cosponsored with the Stone Camryn Fund, which was established in 1984 to honor dancers Walter Camryn and Bentley Stone. Stone Camryn programs are made possible by an endowment from the estate of Walter Camryn and with gifts from friends and former students.

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