North Central College - Naperville, IL

Chicago's Muntu Dance Theatre to perform, offer master class

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306 Jan. 14, 2010--The Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago will perform its stirring interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music and folklore Feb. 12 at North Central College. The colorful and invigorating Muntu Dance Theatre is highly regarded for its innovative repertory, preserving traditional African dance while creating new works that build on African, Caribbean and African-American cultural traditions. Since its founding in 1972, Muntu has become one of the most artistically accomplished dance companies in Chicago, achieving an acclaimed reputation locally and internationally for making consistent artistic statements of cultural and historical significance. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, in North Central's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $25 and $15; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469). Muntu's artistic director is Amaniyea Payne, an accomplished performer and one of the country's leading choreographers in cultural dance. She's performed throughout the United States, the West Indies and Europe and has provided artistic consultancies and professional services to numerous arts organizations worldwide. Muntu is a company of teachers as well as performers. Before the Friday performance, Muntu's Musical Director Clifton Robinson and Assistant Artistic Director Babu Atiba will hold a master class at the College, teaching percussive techniques on the Djembe Drum. Members of the public are invited to bring their own drum and join North Central students for the free drum workshop at 4 p.m. in room 114 at the College's Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. The artists at Muntu research the cultural and historic significance of the dances and societies from which their programs originate in order to perpetuate and transmit the art form to audiences. Muntu strives to increase awareness and appreciation for African culture in the context of a professional performing art form. Muntu Dance Theatre is a member of the African-American Arts Alliance, Chicago Dance & Music Coalition and International Association of Blacks in Dance. For more information about Muntu visit This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).