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Intore New Year Celebration PDF Print E-mail


" Celebration"

Intore dancers

" Norman with Intore dance troop, New Years Eve, Rwanda"

I arrived in Ruhengeri, Rwanda New Years Eve's day to get settled before my visit to the mountain gorillas located nearby at Parc National des Volcans National Park. New Years Eve was intended to be a quite relaxing evening


as I was with a small group of travelers who were scheduled to visit the mountain gorillas New Years Day. We decided as a group celebrate the New year after we returned from the gorillas so that night we would have dinner and then retire. We were booked to be picked up at 5 am to make our way to the volcanoes and for some gorilla tracking.

Just as we finished dinner and after cleaning up we decided to have a toast and have our glass of champagne for New Years early then settle to bed for the next day. Just as I finished my drink a man stopped by our camp to invite us to a New Years Eve party that was being held at the local community centre. It was going to take little to sway me although the rest of the group remained stubborn about about preparing for the next day. I asked the gentleman who invited us if there would be music and dancing. When he told me that there would be both, including traditional Intore dancers, I knew I had to go! I went and got a ticket for the party then packed all my gear for the morning. For the people of Rwanda, being a good dancer is serious business so I knew I would have some great photo ops for reference to use later for my African paintings. I headed off to the community centre with my camera gear and ticket to the party.

As I made my way to the community centre I joined in with the families and all the other people who were on their way to celebrate New Years Eve. Once inside I found a seat up front and claimed a spot as the centre was filling up fast. The stage was connected to rooms on either side each filled with a dance troop. The music started and to my surprise country music started to play and a dance troop came out and lined dance dressed in western gear. I couldn't believe that I live in a city that line dancing to country music is almost mandatory every Calgary Stampede. After the line dancers finished the a group of musicians started to play more traditional music acoustically with drums and flutes and then joined by a group of woman performing with bottles balanced on their heads. As the woman finished they were replaced by dancers going all out to some hip hop. The two dance troops alternated back and forth for about two hours  then it was intermission.

Intore dancers

" Traditional Intore dance"

I decided to take advantage of the break and venture outside to enjoy my cigar and a beer, after all it was hot and muggy inside. While enjoying the fresh air and my drink outside I stuck up a conversation with a man who was asking me how I enjoying the dancing. I told him how impressed I was and how much energy the dancers had. He then informed me he was the manager of the dance troops so I asked if it was ok to get closer to take pictures. He said it was not a problem but could I do him a favor. I was prepared to have to pay a small fee to take pictures but to my surprise all he wanted was to get a picture of me with one of the dancers dressed in traditional clothes. I was game, next thing you know a couple of the dancers had me adorned from head to toe and pictures were taken.

Dressed to the nines

" Dressed for action."


I assumed after we took a few pictures that I would get back to my seat and the dancers would get ready for the second half of their show. The manager asked me however to follow him before I returned to my seat. The next thing I know we are going back into the community centre, this time through a different door and suddenly I found myself on stage with the dance troop as the crowd took great pleasure in my attempt at trying to dance Intore style.


Center stage

" Center stage. "

This was one new Years celebration that will never be forgotten. I partied till it was time to get back to camp to leave on the gorilla trek. So much for sleep!

Norm's Images

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