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Ssukaali: A dance piece on bride price finds way to National Theatre


Ssukaali being performed at Batalo dance festival. Photo by Gabriel Buule


2019 seems a year for dance to tell stories of social and public interests. From the Clays’ The Gathering that was religiously motivated, the Eco Dance piece by Abdul Kinyenya, Kuhamahama among many here comes Ssukaali, another piece seeking to address issues on bride price Vis-à-vis child marriages.

A group of youth from Jinja under a dance outfit called Street Dance Force Uganda who are based in eastern Uganda district under the leadership of Dancer Elvis Elasu will be exhibiting a dance piece on bride price in Uganda using dance to highlight the underlying issues on the matter suggesting solutions and showing the repercussions.

A scene in Ssukaali dance piece being performed at Batalo Dance festival. Photo by Gabriel Buule


Levy Elvis Elasu, who is the choreographer of “SSUKAALI “says the name of the piece is derived from a Luganda word meaning (Sugar), a name usually given to a girl child at birth.

He says that a family and community will often joyfully refer to the girl child as “Ssukaali”, a reference term used to anticipate bride price with the hope that when she grows, her family will get material goods at a time of her marriage.


The highly anticipated dance piece which is a blend of dance and theatrics which will be shown on 28, at National Theatre was recently shown for at least 15 minutes at the annual Batalo East Festival and it was crowned the most touching and educative production at the 2019 Batalo East Dance festival.

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