Constantin Hitimana has not only perfected his art in the popular Intore cultural dance, he is the founder of Itorero Indangamiraguhimbaza, a loose grouping of young people who come together for the country’s famed traditional dance, as Moses Opobo found out…
Which is the most popular cultural dance of Rwanda?
I think Ikinimba is the most popular, at least from our own performances. It’s the dance that involves a lot of jumping and dancing in uniform motion. There are other dances like Umushagiriro and Ikinyemera that are also well received.
How did you end up in traditional dance?
In 2005, I went to a music school in Kigali (Real Traditional Dance Music School) where I enrolled for a short course. After mastering Intore and other dances, an idea came to me to start something of my own. At the time (2008), I was working with the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwamagana, so I decided to start the group there. When my contract with them ended in 2012, I relocated the group to Kigali.
I started with only two dancers. After two months, five more people joined us. I remember our first performance was a success. As I speak now, we are 58 in number, and that includes both dancers and singers.