The name “Utamaduni”, a swahili word meaning “culture”, was adopted by the dance troupe after a Danish cultural exchange with the Sukuma tribe in Tanzania in 1977.
The exchange project in which the Danes also performed their traditional dance, was called “Daraja la Utamaduni” / “The cultural bridge”.
From that embryonic beginning of cultural exchange, rich and fertile images of African culture were absorbed by the “Danes” – all thanks to the Sukuma people.
Since then Utamaduni has woven a tapestry of dance, drum, and song rhythms into a bond of friendship with local farmers and handicraft artists, and has inspired more than 25 Danish dance troupes that meet weekly for dance and workshops.
The Utamaduni Dance Troupe brings alive Africa, right here on the spot, with its colourful and expressive performance.
Both the young and old are fascinated by the interaction of the big drums and the dancers, and enjoy invitations from the troupe to join the dance.
African dance festival in Ramten Skov, Denmark.
At Utamaduni’s first gathering for African dance in Ramten forest, there were only 40 participants.
In 2007, we were proud to celebrate our 25th anniversary with more than 600 adults and over 100 children singing, drumming, dancing and living together for 7 days.
Pictures from previous camps (Photos by: Mads Bischoff, Utamaduni):
Click here for more photos in our Utamaduni Photogallery
In Tanzania dance, drumming and singing is an integral part of everyday life. Every kind of work has a song, which explains the purpose of the work. Also Tanzania is where we find most of the inspiration to our camp, to our dance troupe, and to all our activities.
The work itself creates the energy for the rhythm pattern. Every celebration has its own ceremony, songs and dances. People of all ages join in with the singing and drumming.
This living expression of mutual happiness and cooperation is the fabric for their social respect within the tribal society.