Changing the Community Perspective


In this episode of DanceCast, Silva interviews Tebandeke Joseph, an African contemporary dance artist based in Uganda. He shares how athletics led him to contemporary dance, and how he sees dance as an engine for change. Tebandeke aims to change the community perspective on disability through street performances and through the schools. He dreams of eventually opening an accessible dance center with an adjoining library about dance and sports so people with disabilities can have more support and exposure. Finally, Tebandeke discusses the need for role models because the experience of disability in Africa is much different than in Europe, and more role models would normalize and empower people with disabilities in Uganda.


Tebandeke is outside on dirt surrounded by water bottles and holds one out in his hand. A crowd watches.

Photo courtesy Tebandeke Joseph

Tebandeke Joseph practices disability inclusion in Uganda and has set up platforms and projects that make people with and without disabilities in Africa believe in themselves. He believes dance is a language that all can access in an era of post colonialism and decolonization. He has worked in different locations such as the Freiburg contact improvisation festival (Germany 2019), East Africa Nights of Tolerance (Rwanda 2017), Tuzinne Festival Where Human Rights Dance (Uganda 2017 – 2018), Ubumuntu Arts Festival (Rwanda 2018) and Segou’ Art (Mali 2019). As an active choreographer, Tebandeke has created several productions with Candoco Dance Company (United Kingdom), Splash Dance Company (Uganda), Mambya Dance Company and Pamoja Dance Company (Kenya). Tebandeke also runs free workshops in his local communities once a week to promote inclusion in dance. He hopes to share contemporary dance to youth with and without disabilities. It is a passion that fuels him to this day.

Visit Joseph’s YouTube channel to watch some of his work, or donate to this Go Fund Me to help him travel to Sweden to teach this summer.

Tebandeke is suspended in middair with his legs in a V shape. He is supported by his crutch and another dancer.

Photo courtesy Tebandeke Joseph