In the Bantu language “muntu” means “the essence of humanity”. Through its performances, Muntu strives to create an atmosphere of communal participation. Founded in 1972, the Chicago based Muntu Dance Theatre performs authentic and progressive intepretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music, and folklore. A colorful and dynamic company, Muntu brings its audiences out of their seats and into the aisles with its unique synthesis of dance, rhythm and song. “We carefully research the cultural and historical significance of the dances and the societies from which they originate,” stated Artistic Director Amaniyea Payne.