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How Traditional Meet Urban at Batalo Dance Festival

Garvin Atuhaire and Jessa Vivian Nassali presenting the Knot photo by Gabriel Buule

The highly anticipated Batalo Dance festival was nearly ruined by rain in its initial days but it couldn’t deter revelers and dance enthusiasts to brave the cold at the Ndere Cultural Centre Amphitheatre to enjoy dance.

From style Yake to Krump and Afro-house among many dance styles, the first day of the festival was a tell-tale of Dance Battles that saw new faces stomp the stage to show-case their Dances.

Showcases in the Ampitheatre photo by Gabriel Buule

Jabbing with the theme ‘Traditional Meets Urban’, the Dancers were on point as they kept fusing urban dances like the trending Ghanaian ‘Shaku Shaku’ with local dance moves to live up to the theme.

The final day of the festival was held in the Ndere auditorium and it saw a couple of breath-taking dance pieces. ‘Sukaali’ a piece choreographed by Elvis Elasu was greatly welcomed by the audience. In this piece, the Street Dance Force Uganda told a story about bride price and early marriages in Busoga region through dance.

Showcases in the Ampitheatre photo by Gabriel Buule

For traditional to blend with Urban; dancer Faizal Ddamba alias Mostrix together with Batalo’s Abdul Kinyenya and others choreographed ‘Kuhamahama EP’ West Nile edition which Ddamba who also doubles as a DJ remixed the native sounds of Maracha district- West Nile.

Kuhamahama EP’ was yet another fascinating piece that got the audience on tenterhooks as it was mixture of electronic music, drums, local dance.

Kuhamahama EP produced by Faisal Ddamba Photo by Gabriel Buule

Other acts included Amina Namakula’s ‘Amagunju’ digging deeper in movement plus the songs that accompanied the dance.  Dancers Gavin Atuhaire and Vivian Jesa Nassali dazzled with their duet dubbed ‘Fundo’ (The Knot). With several acts from the Ethiopia and Congo, legendary Rogers Masaba wowed when he took to stage to pair with his daughter in a dance story dubbed the Skin.

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