Since developing this site, I have been thinking of it as an image-based means of communicating what I am working on as a choreographer, and the pathways of those works into performance and/or the residencies, workshops and retreats that involve wild goose chase dance. I’ve just returned from a TCU sponsored trip to Rwanda and the nature of the experience was such that I would like to share it more broadly: I would like to acknowledge those with whom I traveled, those I met and danced with during the time we were in Rwanda, and what I learned. Additionally, it is my intention to share in a way that points readers toward ways that they, too, can engage if interested.
On January 3, I left for Rwanda – joined by faculty, students, staff and guests of TCU. I will introduce you to those I traveled with and then to the places we went and the people we met. Our goal – as part of the TCU QEP from whom we received a generous grant – was to lay the groundwork for relationships that would be sustainable. Speaking from my own point of view, I had no idea how rich this journey would be for its breadth and depth, and we all have John Singleton, TCU Director of International Student Services and ardent believer in engaging the world with TCU international students as guides, to thank for that. John designed the schedule which included visits to arts, community and memorial centers where we met Rwanda’s leaders and visionaries, and the evening round table discussions with those change-makers and additional Rwandans who are engaged in arts, education, reconciliation and peace making.
John is on the far right in this photo. Left to right are Raavi Baldota, Elisabeth Pierson and Adam McKinney, fellow travelers you will meet soon.
Irené Kwihangana, a TCU junior from Rwanda, majoring in mechanical engineering, served as Country Director. He worked together with John to create programming, to translate for us (Irené speaks four languages fluently), and to secure internal travel arrangements. Irené and his friend, Ituze Christian, direct an NGO in Rwanda called Anointed. http://www.anointedrwanda.org Their NGO supports children at the juncture between primary and secondary education – a point at which many students drop out due to lack of finances for school fees, books and uniforms. I hope you’ll read more about this organization and its goals and visions on the website.
Irené Kwihangana at Gisimba Arts Center.
That’s it for today. I’ll continue introducing you to the people involved and the experiences we had over time as I continue to process.
Rwandan countryside. Land of 1,000 hills. And endless farms.