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(CBS) — It’s a dance company now celebrating more than 40 years of performances inspired by African culture and dance.

CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says the dancers and founders of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago are all someone you should know.

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The group formed in Chicago in 1972. Muntu in the Bantu language means “the essence of humanity.” For the past 28 years, Amaniyea Payne  carried out that mission, as artistic director.

“We must remember what has happened before, but we also must remember where we are now,” Payne says.

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The dance organization means a lot to Stacey Smith.

“I have a place in the foundation of this company, and I am also surrounded by family and elders who have given me a lot of knowledge,” Smith says.


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