Muntu’s ambitions are vast, both in terms of space and time. Helmed by executive director Sekou Tepaka Lunda Conde, the 47-year-old South Shore-based company aims at nothing less than preserving and perpetuating the endless, intricate polycultural “African aesthetic,” be it manifested in Nubian dance or Zulu drumming or the ancient folklore of griots whose names have been lost to history. Conde uses music and movement to take Muntu’s audiences and dance students across continents and through centuries. Works including 2014’s The Continuum and this year’s Dunuba: Dance of Strength put drumming front and center, the percussion propelling the movement with an urgency that’s irresistible. Muntu dancers perform in wondrously elaborate costumes that explode with motion, giving their performances an eye-popping showmanship. This is dance and drumming as a kinetic synthesis of cultures and histories. If only all historians and cultural anthropologists made their work as thrilling.
Next up: Fall Concert with Nunufatima Dance Company, Fri 11/15-Sat 11/16, 7:30 PM, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th. For more info go to muntu.com