Keep the Dance Alive

Genre : Social
Type : Documentary
Column : Music, Cinema/tv, Dance
Year of production : 2007
Format : Feature

The Otjiherero language speaking groups of Namibia and Angola - the Ovahimba, Ovadhimba, Ovahakaona, Ovagambwe, Ovakuvale, Ovatua - all share a common culture and belief system. This film explores the various ways in which music and dance transcend their everyday lives from infancy to death.

by Rina Sherman
part of the The Ovahimba Years Project
color, 75 & 50 min, 2007

Keep the Dance Alive is part of The Ovahimba Years Project, a long-term multi-disciplinary ethnographic study of the Ovahimba and other Otjiherero-language-speaking peoples of northwestern Namibia and southwestern Angola.

"The film itself is quite marvelous, and will be particularly fascinating for those with an interest in anthropology, music, and particularly you ethnomusicologists out there." - Theresa Anasti, Feminist Review

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards

Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York, 2007
RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, Manchester, England, 2007
La Cinémathéque de la Danse, Paris, France, 2008
International Festival of Films on Tribal Art & Culture, India, 2008
IV Moscow International Visual Anthropology Festival, Russia, 2008
European Association of Social Anthropologists' Film, Video & New Media Festival, Slovenia, 2008
XXII Pärnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2008
28th Amiens International Film Festival, France, 2008


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of