AT: What a stunning view to Mt. Meru?
Anna: I was looking for an accessible, quiet, middle of nature but close to town place with parking possibilities and here we are : IBUKA. You could say “A Dance with a View”.
AT: How long did it take to build this art space?
Anna: We built the space in exactly a 9 month’s time, time like waiting for a child. Together with the amphitheatre it is the biggest dedicated art space in Tanzania! Here we are doing our Dance Training Programs; our classes, a touring Dance Company is resident. It will be a multicultural performing Arts Venue reaching out into East Africa. Anyone who wants to develop their own ideas is warmly welcomed to Ibuka’s Studio & Theatre! But we are operating since one year and so our classes. From January, 26th, people can register for the new term.
AT: What kind of classes are you offering?
Anna: Dance in many varieties. There is Hip Hop Dance on Monday, African Dance and Gyrokinesis (a moving method that gently works the entire body) on Tuesday, Belly Dancing and Jazz/Funk on Wednesday, Ballet for kids and adults on Thursday and on Friday we have Bollywood-Dance and Zumba. Saturday is dedicated to some programs for kids and Adult Yoga and Salsa and Tango. Every Wednesday we have also Tango & Salsa classes outside at the Blue Heron.
AT: When is the official opening?
Anna: The guest artists are preparing their performances for this special day!! The grand opening will take place on 21st February 2015 with a big opening event. We are going to show our crowd funding Video, will do fundraising, and have a sponsor wall. We will do a ruffle with outstanding prices to get funding for our projects. You know we are a nonprofit organization and everything that gets in goes to the benefit of others. May aim is to bring these people to an international level.
AT: Dance as a vehicle to generate income?
Anna: I studied ballet in Canada and in Germany and came across Contemporary Dance in the course of it. Dance can generate income only if you are really dedicated. Dance can be a vehicle to empower women. There is a general lack of female dancers for sure, this is something Ibuka aims at addressing through dance. I get the money through the classes that mostly well-off people are attending and pay my salaries to the Dance Company that is Africans; I am the Robin Hood of Dance!
AT: You came, saw and stayed?
Anna: I had developed a show with Alliance Francaise, worked together with locals, it was amazing, it was entertaining and educating the same time, I call this “dance activism”, anyway the work with the dancers and the freedom I felt here in Africa, the fresh air, my inner child rose up again – I decided to stay and to make my dream real to break down social borders and boundaries, give people food for thought, food for cultural gossip. That is also the reason I chose the name Ibuka. Ibuka in Swahili language means to rise, so we all will be rising through dance.