Ibuka's vision, reflecting on 2017

A word to celebrate the year in review by Artistic Director, Anna Bussey

Ibuka is the Swahili verb meaning “to rise, to emerge” and our slogan “Rising through Dance”, reflects our vision to break through socio-economic barriers with dance as a new vocation option in Africa. This year of 2017, We created a show for TEDGlobal 2017 that was seen by 500 TED fellows, followed by interactive drumming circle. People could not stop dancing!  Ibuka completed successfully 2 grants from CFLI: a regional tour and a national tour with an original performance on Gender Equality called Mizani with 10-20 performers. The tour in numbers: 50 schools, 15 community spaces, 25,000 children (primary & secondary) saw the show and participated in dance workshops.

Ibuka Dance Foundation (IDF) is a Tanzanian non profit organization and our mission is to provide education and employment opportunities through dance and the performing arts to disadvantaged and talented Tanzanian youth. 

Ibuka Dance Foundation (IDF) was founded in 2014 by Anna Bussey, a Canadian professional dancer, teacher and choreographer whose 20-year career in Europe has given her the experience to raise the dance performance standards in Arusha and her team travels around Tanzania on a professional level. We aim to be the leading centre for dance education, creation and performance in East Africa and put Arusha on the map as a cultural capital of Africa. These 3 pillars which represent professional vocational training, experience and employment.

 We aim to foster dance in many forms and to all levels and ages, providing opportunities for learning, expression, health and social impact.
In 2015 we started our ‘Chance to Dance’ scholarship program for Tanzanian youth and our core group of the selected 10 dancers receive vocational training, life skills and support from our foundation in the form of weekly transport money, accommodation and lunch. They are paid fairly for various performances as apprentices with our dance troupe often bringing awareness to different social issues through our performances and through our outreach work. 

This dedicated and motivated group of young men and woman who have many struggles in life, we have seen develop over the past 2 years full time at Ibuka.They have all matured in their life skills as well as their dance technique, and some have already begun to spread their knowledge to different communities as well as receive an income, which will in part help their families.

We are creating international level dancers and dance teachers who can inspire new generations and build a healthy performing arts market in East Africa and represent Tanzania abroad. It is time to reflect and redirect the completion of the first batch of graduates from Ibuka with more dance company work. These dancers as well as from MUDA Africa, Dar es Salaam,  are the foundation of the new Ibuka Dance Company, apon which new choreographic works are commissioned and created by our house choreographers Anna Bussey & Brian Oloo, as well as guest choreographers, as was the case this Christmas season with UK director & choreographer Johnny Autin.The  company works on project basis, hiring the dancers it produced and paying for rehearsals and performances.

We look forward to celebrating original dance works with you in 2018, with artistic integrity. Get ready to experience a fusion of new dance vocabularies with local culture and heritage.



Back to the Body

As we are about to start a new season at Ibuka with the start of classes after the summer, what a good time to start the Ibuka blog. Back to school. Back to the body is more apt at our school!

What does back to the body mean to me? It is a return to the source, so often just an unconscious vehicle at our command. With so many external distractions, it's time to find that quiet place inside that listens and senses, rejuvenation from that busy loud external reality to a deeper reality.

The mind body connection is fascinating to explore and dance harnesses that strength to infinite possibilities. We can share our stories, speak without words and be understood across the globe.

Through the body, we can express what's on our mind: our feelings, our views, our past and our future. Unlocking the present for audience and performer alike and speaking a most personal and universal truth. On a good show night!

With these words I welcome you to get back to your body and let your mind relax for the duration of a dance class. Create the space for yourself. See you in our dancespace.