The Kennedy Center

Rujeko Dumbutshena



Biography

Now more than any other time in history, people are being inspired and changed by the movement, music, and stories of Africa. For many years now Rujeko Dumbutshena has strived to bridge diversely different cultures and have successfully been a part of innovative works, taught workshops, and directed conferences to bring together students and audiences as witnesses and participants in the profundity of African art today.

Her Broadway experience as an original ensemble dancer in the hit musical Fela! perfectly represents of the impact Africa has on the world today. Audiences of all ages and cultures are being deeply moved by this contemporary African story. As an African artist living in America, Ms. Dumbutshena continues to enjoy the exploration of blending her diverse cultural influences, while maintaining authenticity. Her mission is to show African artists as legitimate contenders in any arena of contemporary art by expressing the “primitive” in an intellectual voice.

Teaching African movement to contemporary African music breaks away from tradition in such a way that allows Ms. Dumbutshena to redefine movement. The result is a more lyrical expression of self which, in turn, encourages participants to have a deeper relationship with African movement. The lyrics and melodies help to contemporize the dance while the rhythm keeps it grounded in its original form.

Rujeko’s instruction provides a meeting place of cultures. She aspires for the highest western institutional accolades, while standing rooted in the antiquity of my people. As an African artist living in America, Rujeko enjoys the exploration of blending diverse cultural influences, while striving to maintain authenticity.

As well as an experienced university, college and high school dance instructor, Rujeko offers artist in residence programs that foster interest and awareness in the importance of dance as a medium for cultural expression. By teaching the fundamental aesthetics of neo traditional African movement and music, Rujeko emphasizes her native Zimbabwean traditional dances and the internalization of rhythm through movement.
Rujeko Dumbutshena