Dr Abiy Ahmed About new Boradcasting Rule Adugna dance company members all take part in teaching contemporary dance to local Ethiopians free of charge, three times a week, to pass down the skills that they themselves had gained from the various choreographers who came from abroad mostly on voluntary base to share the knowledge of Contemporary dance techniques practiced worldwide. A major part of Adugna’s development has been the exchange of skills between dancers around the world. They have also benefitted from touring the U.K, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Kinshasa and Kenya which hosted famous dance festivals where they performed.
Equally important is Adugna’s work in the community. Adugna works with all age groups, including the disabled and the elderly, using dance and theatre to educate and inspire a wide range of issues, including health, civil rights and discrimination. In many ways Adugna symbolizes artistically what Ethiopian young people can achieve if given the chance, and their performances reach out to other Ethiopians that are in need of hope and inspiration
In 1996 the Adugna Dance Theatre Company was formed under one of the programs run by The Ethiopian Gemini Trust. It became the first Contemporary Dance Company in Ethiopia. Gemini Trust which was founded in 1983 by an Anglo-American pediatrician, Dr. Carmela Green Abate, was set up as an NGO providing a comprehensive family approach to foster better livelihoods to some of Addis Ababa’s poorest people. What started out as an experimental project harnessing the creative talents of street children is now a vibrant, international success story. Adugna Company is now a group of seven young professional dancers, some of whom come from Gemini families, and received training for a period of five years before launching their career as a professional dance company performing worldwide.Addisu Demissie, artistic director of Adugna says the group “don’t have our own purpose built dance studio but we are very thankful to Gemini Trust for giving us the use of space to practice and rehearse continuously over the past fifteen years
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Ethiopia has completely missed out on the art of the dance. In 1967 one of the pioneer magazines in Ethiopia, wrote the story of The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Company. “The profoundly moving talents of Choreographer Alvin Ailey displayed a full integration of dance & drama leaving a lasting impression on the audience at the Haile Selassie I Theatre”. Emperor Haile Selassie I invited The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Company who later became the most important black American choreographer in the history of modern dance