Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago started out nearly 30 years ago as a collective formed to study African dance and music. Since then a lot of collectives have come and gone, but Muntu (pronounced "moon too," it means "the essence of humanity" in Bantu) is still dancing. Under the direction of Amaniyea Payne, working with guest choreographers from Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, and Liberia, Muntu performs centuries-old ritual dances along with contemporary African-American and African pieces, always accompanied by live music, usually percussion and flute. A dozen Muntu dancers and musicians will bring numbers like Juba Jig--which includes the cakewalk, the hambone, and a precursor to tap--to the main-stage theater at the College of Lake County on Saturday, October 7, at 8. Tickets are $20; $18 for CLC students, alumni, and seniors; $10 for kids under 12. The college is at 19351 W. Washington in Grayslake. Call 847-543-2300.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Kwabena Shabu.