Rwandan Wedding Performance!

What an incredible experience.  Performed with the Imanzi troup at a wedding in Nyamagabe this past weekend.  It was an incredible adrenaline rush and so much fun!  I loved getting to wear the ankle bells and dressing up in traditional Rwandan clothes for the wedding.  Ginni and Dahea arrived a little late but they still managed to watch most of the performance, which was great.  I know that I messed up the choreo at times during the performance, but everyone was so positive and complimentary afterwards.  I really admire the camaraderie and incredible support for each other among the Imanzi dancers.

 

The coach helping me get ready
The coach helping me get ready
Some of the boys
Some of the boys
The girls
The girls
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The girls with the choir and some of the boys

The space was larger than usual and the ground was uneven, which made the performance slightly more challenging, but we did our best. At the beginning of the ceremony, the dancers line the path for the bride and groom.  Then we start with a part called the presentation.  After the first part, we change and then perform again in the middle of the ceremony.  We end the performance with a “faceoff” between the boys and girls, and then some of the dancers freestyle and try to get the wedding guests/ bride and groom to dance with us.

The dancers lining the path for the bride and groom
The dancers lining the path for the bride and groom

 

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The final faceoff between the boys and girls
The final faceoff between the boys and girls

The bus ride home was one of the liveliest bus rides I’ve ever been on! Someone was drumming while everyone one else was singing, dancing, and yelling the entire trip back to Butare. The energy and excitement was contagious.  I had no idea what they were saying but I couldn’t help but laugh and clap along with them.  There were 2 wedding performances on Saturday, 1 in Nyamagabe and 1 in Butare.  The dancers from both weddings met up in Butare for a final debriefing, then we headed to Jean Paul’s house.  It was fun to be with everyone again since we were split up during the performances this afternoon.  Dinner was funny because as we were eating in the courtyard, someone brought out 2 huge trays piled full of random leftovers.  We were starving because no one had eaten all day, so everyone dug in with their forks or hands, and we devoured the food within a few minutes!  We ate, drank (so much Fanta!), and danced until we were exhausted.  Parties with dancers are definitely the most fun parties.  What an exhausting but incredible day with my Imanzi family.

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