A move to develop dancing techniques embodying African, Asian and European expression, took tangle shape this week with the inauguration of a dance centre in Senegal.
A move to develop dancing techniques embodying African, Asian and European expression, took tangle shape this week with the inauguration of a dance centre in Senegal. Sponsored by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, it is affiliated to the Mudra-Bruxelles academy directed by famous French dancer Maurice Bejart and is the first of its kind outside Belgium.
SYNOPSIS: Monsieur Bejart was in Dakar on Monday (21 November) for the opening of the new academy, to be called Mudra-Afrique. Senegal's President, Leopold Senghor himself a patron of the arts and a highly-esteemed poet in French literary circles came with his wife to officially welcome what is planned to be a dance school for black and Arab Africa. At present, it is housed in a former Museum but a new school is to be built overlooking the Atlantic. Dakar has been chosen by UNESCO because of its historically-recognised position as a crossroads between the Northern desert lands and tropical Africa.
Senegal's Minister of Higher Education, Mr. Ousmane Camera, praised the venture which seeks to create a symbiosis of European, Africa and Asian dance. It will also record for posterity the traditional African dance steps.
Belgian Foreign Minister, Monsieur Renaat van Elslande, endorsed the value of the project. Maurice Beljart aims to make contemporary dance, incorporating poetry and other art forms, and encapsulating a universal spirit.
President Senghor stressed the new academy would be concerned with all aspects of movement, rather than simply traditional Western steps. He felt the African Continent, particularly the Berber-Arab regions, had a valuable contribution to make to dancing as an art-form.