DE­VEL­OP­ING A NEW GEN­ER­A­TION OF DANCERS

Creative Feel - - CONTENTS -

In a con­tin­u­ous ef­fort to de­velop a new gen­er­a­tion of dancers, dance teach­ers and chore­og­ra­phers as part of Vuyani Dance The­atre’s (VDT) found­ing ob­jec­tives, nine young people have be­gun their year as trainees at VDT.

In a con­tin­u­ous ef­fort to de­velop a new gen­er­a­tion of dancers, dance teach­ers and chore­og­ra­phers as part of Vuyani Dance The­atre’s (VDT) found­ing ob­jec­tives, nine young people have be­gun their year as trainees at VDT. Vuyani con­tin­ues to use dance in a provoca­tive and am­bi­tious way as a ve­hi­cle to cre­ate sus­tain­able arts jobs.

The train­ing pro­gramme is de­vel­oped to cover the scope of dance skills, tech­nique and chore­og­ra­phy. It aims to give young people from di­verse back­grounds an op­por­tu­nity to ex­cel in dance and to de­velop them into pro­fes­sion­als who will later con­trib­ute to the cre­ative econ­omy.

VDT has ex­panded its vo­cab­u­lary of con­tem­po­rary dance move­ment and is for­ever al­ter­ing the scope of con­tem­po­rary dance by root­ing its artis­tic works and train­ing pro­gramme in con­tem­po­rary, so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­texts, which gives the or­gan­i­sa­tion an edge in the cre­ative in­dus­try. This ap­proach en­sures that each year’s class of trainees has an un­der­stand­ing of dance tech­niques and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of other art forms along with fur­ther key learn­ing points; arts ad­min­is­tra­tion, cre­ativ­ity and im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

2018’s class of trainees have re­ally chal­lenged them­selves. Ac­cel­er­at­ing their development in the com­pany even fur­ther, seven of the trainees have been cast in Vuyani’s Cion: Re­quiem of Ravel’s Bolero, which was pre­sented at this year’s Sibiu In­ter­na­tional The­atre Fes­ti­val in Ro­ma­nia (15 and 16 June). This month they will per­form at Artscape The­atre in Cape Town from 6 to 8 July and at the Vrys­taat Kun­ste­fees on 9 July.

‘The train­ing pro­gramme has been a chal­leng­ing jour­ney that has helped me tap into parts of my­self as a dancer, per­former and as­pir­ing chore­og­ra­pher. The train­ing pro­gramme has ex­posed me to an ar­ray of teach­ers and classes, which has played a ma­jor role in help­ing me im­prove my body aware­ness and em­bod­i­ment. Fur­ther­more, Vuyani de­mands you to be present, to own and master any op­por­tu­nity you are given to dance or per­form, be it in class or on stage, this cre­ates a con­sis­tency and bet­ter work ethic. This was the first time I was ex­posed to the arts and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, es­pe­cially the dance in­dus­try, and I am grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to have seen it in all its colours and forms at Vuyani Dance The­atre,’ shares Sman­gal­iso Ng­wenya, VDT train­ing alumni.

The train­ing pro­gramme en­sures that VDT has a con­sis­tent sup­ply of well-trained dancers who con­tinue to build Vuyani’s ex­cep­tional in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing African con­tem­po­rary dance com­pany. Vuyani is rooted in de­vel­op­ing young tal­ent, and trainees also give of their time to im­part the knowl­edge they soak up to the school-go­ing gen­er­a­tion through the Out­reach Pro­gramme. The ob­jec­tive of this pro­gramme is to reach out to com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and pri­mary schools with a keen fo­cus on those that include an arts and cul­ture pro­gramme in their cur­ricu­lum. Each year’s trainees are ex­pected to cre­ate a three-to-five-minute dance piece to show­case as part of their as­sess­ment, to demon­strate what they have learnt dur­ing their train­ing pe­riod.

Vuyani has suc­cess­fully achieved its in­cep­tion man­date, hav­ing trained over 60 young dancers who have gone on to fur­ther their ca­reers. Some have since made their mark as free­lance dancers, dance teach­ers and chore­og­ra­phers, while oth­ers have be­come full-time VDT com­pany mem­bers.

“The train­ing pro­gramme en­sures that VDT has a con­sis­tent sup­ply of well­trained dancers who con­tinue to build Vuyani’s ex­cep­tional in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing African con­tem­po­rary dance com­pany”

PHO­TOS: Cre­ative Space Me­dia

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