SA dance maestro to tour Lesotho
SOUTH African dance extraordinaire, Paul Modjadji, has lined up Lesotho as part of his 10-country African tour meant to promote the art form and scout for talent.
The “Breaking Down Borders African Tour” was expected to kick start in Zimbabwe yesterday, with nine other stops in Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and finally in Lesotho from 30 November to 4 December 2016.
Dance has taken Modjadji to major capitals of the world. He has entertained world leaders and international celebrities. In 2011, he made history by becoming the first dancer in Africa to win the European Dance Star World Championships in the solo jazz category.
Last year, he celebrated his 10th anniversary as a professional dancer, hence the tour of 10 African countries in search of 10 dance champions and mentors.
The plan is to visit the capital city of each country, a remote town and a heritage site. Talented dancers will be selected from each country’s workshop. They will qualify as part of Team Africa and will compete at the Dance Star World Championships in Croatia next year.
“Through the tour, Modjadji will use the power of dance to advocate for arts education while promoting fitness, nutrition and arts entrepreneurship in order to empower the youth,” says a statement released by Modjadji.
“He will host workshops which will equip the youth with skills on how they can make dance a tool that creates a healthy lifestyle.
“Modjadji will also collaborate with his fellow alumni at the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship on social development initiatives in the respective countries.”
Said Modjadji: “As an ambassador and judge of international competitions, I have witnessed the lack of representation of the continent on the global platform, and it has concerned me. I don’t want to enjoy being the only or the first, and I intend to use my suc- cess to open doors for others to reach similar levels. This Africa tour is but one step in achieving this goal.”
Modjadji’s fellow alumni at the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship, who will be his tour partner, Setloke Lekhela, told the Weekender the visit would contribute positively towards the development of the dance sector.
“I met Modjadji at last year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship in United States where I got to learn about his great work. It’s the place where I learnt about the tour, and I asked him to include Lesotho,” he said.
“The visit will not only provide dancers with exposure, but also life skills to all young people who will be part of the workshop.”
SOUTH African dancer Paul Modjadji.