National Ballet of Rwanda

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The National Ballet of Rwanda (French: Ballet national du Rwanda), also known as the Urukerereza National Ballet (Ballet national Urukerereza), is a Rwandan dance company. It was created in 1974 at the behest of President Juvenal Habyarimana.[1] Their long-running show features traditional Rwandan songs, drums and dances (not European ballet).[2]

Its name Urukerereza literally means "the one that causes you to delay", referring to how it holds the attention of the audience. Urukerereza was the national dance-music troupe formed in the 1970s by the Ministry of Youth and Culture. Urukerereza became the ballet’s senior troupe with the formation of the junior national troupe, called Indangamirwa (lit.'the ones who receive the attention'). The junior troupe was formed by Simon Bikindi, supervisor of cultural activities, in 1985. The juniors trained at the former mwami’s palace in Nyanza.[3][4][5]

They regularly take part in dance festivals and perform abroad.[6] In 2000, the company made its first visit to North America and performed at the Seattle International Children's Festival.[7]


  1. ^ Briggs, Jimmie (2004), "A Dance of Hope in Rwanda", Dance Magazine, Macfadden Publications, pp. August 2004, retrieved 10 July 2010
  2. ^ "Rebirth of a Nation", Shanghai Daily, Eastday, 4 July 2010, archived from the original on 6 March 2012, retrieved 10 July 2010
  3. ^ McCoy, Jason T. (2013). Mbwirabumva ("I Speak to Those Who Understand") (PhD). Florida State University (College of Music). "Urukerereza" translates literally as "the one that causes you to delay," the idea being that the troupe is so astonishing that when watching them, people will be spellbound and will not be able to carry on with their other activities.
  4. ^ Pour vos loisirs au Rwanda (in French). Ministère de la jeunesse et du mouvement associatif. 1990. p. 96. Le centre URUKARI, ancienne résidence royale (ex-palais du mwami Mutara Rudahigwa) est le centre d'entrainement des deux troupes du Ballet national: URUKEREREZA (troupe des ainés) et INDANGAMIRWA (troupe des cadets). [Abridged translation: “The Urukari Centre, former royal residence […], is the training centre of the two troupes of the National Ballet: Urukerereza (senior troupe) and Indangamirwa (junior troupe).”]
  5. ^ Rwanda. Ministère de la jeunesse et du mouvement associatif (1989). Rapport annuel (in French). Le Ministère. pp. ?. La troupe INDANGAMIRWA, composée de jeunes artistes, suit la mêne organisation que la troupe URUKEREREZA. [Translation: “The Indangamirwa troupe, of young performers, follows the same organization as Urukerereza.”]
  6. ^ Auzias, Dominique (2007). Rwanda. Petit Futé. p. 68. ISBN 978-2-7469-2037-8.
  7. ^ Verhovek, Sam Howe (24 May 2000), "Purdy Journal; Rwandans Share Peace and Unity Through Dance", The New York Times, retrieved 10 July 2010

See also[edit]

Other ballets of non-European traditional dances: