41 years of a company that seeks strength and reason in the people

he National Company of Song and Dance of Mozambique celebrated its 41st anniversary on Thursday. The commemoration show was held at the Eduardo Mondlane University Cultural Centre in Maputo in the presence of the President of the Republic and the Minister of Culture.

The verse was proclaimed with emphasis: “In the people we seek strength and reason”. In a high and good tone! The protagonists? A group of dancers from other times from the National Song and Dance Company (CNCD), as if to justify the longevity of a group which has existed for “only” 41 years. This means that it was founded in 1979, just four years after the proclamation of national independence.

The show brought together several generations of the CNCD to celebrate the trajectory of an artistic institution that took the name of Mozambique to all corners of the world. For this reason, and in recognition of its contribution to the promotion of culture, the government attended the event as a way of applauding the work done, and that which remains to be realised.

For more or less two hours, the President of the Republic, sitting in the front row, watched the artists tell part of the country’s history through their art. The company danced, sang, recited poems and unfolded narratives rooted in the collective memory of Mozambicans.

“In 1975, before national independence, I danced here” – Nyusi

And when his turn came to take the stage, a smiling Filipe Nyusi, freed of all political formalities, even rehearsed some dance steps while walking towards the spotlight.

First of all, he first confessed that the emotion of being there in the UEM Cultural Centre was great indeed. And it became known why. Many years ago, Filipe Nyusi himself had actually danced on the same stage from which he was now speaking, when he was part of a group of young people newly-arrived from Tunduru (Tanzania).

“In 1975, before national independence, I danced here,,” Nyusi said. “Her,e the history of all Mozambique, of all generations is revealed,” he continued, after some astonishment in the room had subsided. And he asked that the company continue its journey without cessation, and continue producing great young artists.

On the night of December 17th, the CNCD displayed all its art to the public. Several Mozambican dances were showcased, with the emphasis on xigubo.

Those who stayed until the end of the session heard the Minister of Culture and Tourism Eldevina Materula promise that the night of December 17th marked the return of the National Song and Dance Company. “It is true that we have been missing a few beats, but this is a sign that we are making a come-back,” she said. From next year, the CNCD will perform a full season.

David Abílio has served as choreographer for over 30 years of the CNCD’s 41 years of existence.

“The Company started on this new journey with my work. This is the greatest honour that the Company could pay. Today, I feel valued, and I declare that it was worth all the effort,” said David Abílio – himself, in fact, a former teacher of Filipe Nyusi.

Source: O País

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