The full moon dance festival returns
The Kuru Dance Festival is one of the biggest highlights of Botswana’s cultural events calendar, and the 18th annual event returns on the weekend of the full moon, from the 28th to 30th August at the Dqae Qare San Lodge in Gantsi.
Under the theme, San Celebrates Cultural Diversity as Botswana Turn s50 years of Independence, the program will kick start on Friday evening at 1800hrs until around 2200hrs with spiritual San around fire Healing Dance, followed by the official opening on Saturday morning which will open up to San cultural dance festivities and cultural music instruments throughout the day.
The Kuru Dance Festival was first held in 1997 as a small event for Basarwa (San) people as culture day in D’kar to showcase their talents and creativity in traditional song and dance. Since then, the festival has over the years grown into a national annual event attended by different ethnic dance groups and individual performers from other parts of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The annual event was halted in some years due to lack of funding and it made a triumphant return last year to its home in Dqae, powered by Barclays Bank of Botswana as the event’s main sponsor as well as the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
“The main aim of Kuru Dance Festival which is now in its 18th year, is to uplift the interest of San people to uphold, promote, preserve and use their culture for their identity and recognition. Kuru Dance Festival, thus also strive to encourage San communities to exchange their unique culture and value in order to regain their self esteem, it is culture which forms the basis of how to live together,” reads a press statement about the event.
This year’s festival is again expected to draw Traditional Dance groups from San settlements in Ghanzi District, Kgalagadi, Ngamiland, Okavango and other few non San groups in Botswana as well as International San Traditional Dance groups from neighbouring Namibia and South Africa. The ticket prices are P100 for adults and P50 for students.
“We assure and urge all lovers of Kuru Dance Festival, our custodians and our Patron Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe to look forward for an eventful weekend of celebration of culture through storytelling, cultural games, songs and dancing,” the release stated.