SA dance mae­stro to tour Le­sotho

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

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.

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