The mission of Muntu Dance Theatre is to preserve and perpetuate the African aesthetic and its influence on world cultures, through the education and professional presentation of dance, music and folklore.
In the Bantu language, "muntu" means "the essence of humanity." It's what the Company seeks to express in its work and to touch in its audiences. Through its performances, Muntu strives to create an atmosphere of communal participation, encouraging and inspiring audiences and participants to join in the celebration!
Founded in 1972, The Chicago-based Muntu Dance Theatre performs authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music, and folklore. The Company is highly regarded for its innovative repertory, preserving traditional African dance while creating new works that build on African, Caribbean and African-American cultural traditions. We carefully research the cultural and historical significance of the dances and the societies from which they originate.
Muntu is more than just a performing company. We are also a company of teachers: an essential element to the perpetuation of our art form and its accurate transmittal to our audiences. Muntu's core programs include professional performances both at home and abroad, comprehensive community arts programs, classes for the public and professional training for emerging new young artists.
We understand that there is merit in all cultures. We seek to appreciate the differences in order to amplify the similarities.
In 2022 Muntu Dance Theatre celebrates 50 years as a culture-bearing organization. Join us in celebrating our 50th anniversary with the return of DanceAfrica Chicago!