Ibuka in the Swahili language means "to rise, to emerge".
Ibuka Dance Foundation is a Tanzanian not-for-profit organization founded in Arusha, Tanzania in April 2014 by Canadian dancer, pedagogue and choreographer Anna Bussey.
During several visits to Tanzania in 2012-2013, she met and created with refreshingly inspired dancers who were open, talented and ready to go places with their art form, yet with no infrastructure and few opportunities available to them.
Ibuka was launched to address these issues, firstly by building a studio theatre to provide a physical space in Arusha dedicated to dance, secondly, by starting a scholarship training program for Tanzanian youth to become professional dancers, and thirdly, by creating innovative afro-contemporary dance works and performing locally, nationally and internationally.
We are helping young people rise above socio-economic barriers through dance to reach their potentiel as dancers, choreographers, teachers, artistic directors & as people!
Our mission is to educate & employ disadvantaged youth with a focus on empowering girls & young women in Tanzania.
We believe that giving these young people an opportunity to rise above socio-economic barriers by developing their talent by accessing education and jobs in the field of dance is the reason they are so dedicated, motivated and inspired. Our mandate is to promote meaningful cultural expression and social engagement by becoming a leading centre for dance training, creation and performance in East Africa. We know dance to be a transformational medium that moves people toward positive personal and social change.
It is Ibuka's vision to put Arusha on the map as a Culture Capital of Africa by being a leading centre for dance education, creation and performance.
Meet the Artistic Directors
Founder & General Director
Anna was born and raised in Montreal, graduating with honours from lʼEcole Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, the professional ballet high school affiliated with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.She completed her dance training on scholarship at the John-Cranko Ballett Shule in Stuttgart and at the Rotterdam Dansakademie.
RShe then began her professional career in ballet and contemporary dance companies in The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Spain such as Compagnia Zappala Danza, La Compagnie Thor and the Copenhagen International Ballet, dancing in original works by choreographers like Kathy Marston, Alexei Ratmansky & Itzic Galili.
She began developing Ibuka Dance Foundation after several increasingly longer stays in Tanzania in 2013, and pursuing the chance to operate a theatre & develop as a coach & choreographer. Her past choreographic works include “Back to FWD” -2014, “A Vertical Mattress” -2009 original/2015 African remake, “The Age of Innocence” 2015, “Where the Wild Things Are”, co-creator w Brian Oloo -2016. “Ondonyu Lendasat” Her Voice -2018 Anna will be creating a Ballet on Ibuka dancers and the Braeburn International School BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts graduates.
Co-Artistic Director & Head Coach
Prior to joining Ibuka Dance Foundation in 2014, Brian worked for four years for a diverse range of dance organizations including Danceteam Africa (Tanzania/Finland) and Yawa Dance Company (Kenya) where he trained for two years in various styles of dance before becoming one of the main dancers and company members. He also holds a certificate from the prestigious African dance institution in Senegal l'Ecole des Sables.
In his role as co-artistic director & head coach, Brian manages many aspects of artistic creations and training programs. His choreographic works include Dead Bottle, Face Off, Mizani and numerous African dance performances for diverse crowds. As a dancer is versatile and experienced in African dance, contemporary dance, hiphop, salsa and improvisation.
Brian is a strong believer of creating platforms for creative minds.