the world's lucky countries, it may have been the year of Africa; but for many Africans, in much of Africa, it was another year of living on the edge."
The talented young dancers and musicians who make up Children of Uganda know this to be true. All have been orphaned because of AIDS, other diseases, or the country's brutal civil war one of the longest-running conflicts on the continent. Yet the hardships and horror aren't on view when these engaging performers take the stage. Instead, the diverse artistic traditions of East Africa come alive through music, movement, costumes, and stories annotated by a charming master of ceremonies, artistic director Peter Kasule.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary and third appearance in Ann Arbor, Children of Uganda travels to share East Africa's rich cultural history and to raise money for the Uganda Children's Charity Foundation, which cares for more than 700 orphaned children. Those on tour have been chosen to represent their peers at the orphanage in Kampala and, more broadly, the approximately two million orphans throughout the country. The group's residency in Ann Arbor which includes several school visits in addition to its Power Center performances on Thursday and Friday, March 23 and 24 is an integral part of the University Musical Society's season-long Africa festival.