An Intore dancing school on the grounds of Volcanoes Safari’s magnificent Virunga Lodge, overlooking the epic backdrop of the Virunga volcanoes and Lake Bulera, Rwanda. This surely must be the most jaw-dropping setting for any dancing school in the world. You can easily discern from this photo why Rwanda is known as Le Pays des Milles Collines: The Land of a Thousand Hills.
The young people performing the Intore to the beat of the drums are marvelously disciplined, their ankle bracelets offering a distinctive jingling cadence to the dance. At this particular performance, the little boy in the foreground, unable to contain his enthusiam, rushed from the sidelines–stick in hand– to imitate the movements of performers wielding token shields and spears.
The Intore dance is lively, joyful, and graceful, the dancers often leaping into the air as they toss their sisal headdresses. The toddler mimicked many of their moves with remarkable precision.The Intore were once the royal dancers of Rwanda’s Tutsi monarchy. Like a ballet or Balinese dancer, an Intore performer’s every gesture is choreographed and meaningful. Watching such talented young people carrying on their traditional dance out of doors in such epic surroundings is an opportunity not-to-be-missed.
A wonderful sequence of Intore dancing (see lower left corner of the above poster) was shot on location in Rwanda for the 1950 film King Solomon’s Mines, starring Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger.