It was a conference in which African and African Diaspora artists/choreographers met to experiment and explore each other’s working technique as well as learn from each other. There was discussion on where Art, Dance in particular is going in the continent and way of networking with each other so that everyone knows what going on where and when. Ideas on how to bring artist working in Africa and those in the Diaspora especially South America to work together and experiment with each other were explored. Encourage, motivate and inspire each other’s creativity and as well as see possibilities of working and performing with each other.
Highlights: Seeing and working with African and African diaspora choreographers and dance practitioners. Discussing the posibilities of inviting each other to Festivals in the African continent and South America and seeing how it can be managed. Discussing the role of contemporary as well as build a solid base for contemporary dance in Africa and its diaspora and research on ways to promote interest both for practitioners and for audience. Encourage and exploit ideas on the continued existence of dance companies in Africa that are challenged by issues of their survival. Donation to companies affected of financial assistance. The role of the African Diaspora to Africa and their meaning.
Challenges: Being in isolation to what has been happening to the rest of the dance community has been a huge challenge for me and my Company. It feels like loosing the track of time. Coming from a country where the economy is the highest since the start of time and the political situation is not friendly it is more difficult to speak and express oneself. The working environment has been such that it is impossible to be motivated or to inspire each other. Meeting a whole bunch of people who were motivated, inspired and keen on the progress of dance was in itself a huge inspiration. The discussions that followed made it much easier to express how the situation on the ground at home has impacted heavily on dance and words of encouragement helped too. Knowing that there are people out there who cared what happened to companies who are having difficulties fundraising was a plus.
Future: To start with the greatest part of the conference was meeting people who felt the need to help companies in dire straits. My company being one of them was given a new lease of life. A lot of Zimbabweans are leaving the country to go and live in other countries and this is the case with most dancers, after they are trained they usually look for employment elsewhere, so I am currently rebuilding the company smaller and with the ideas that I given in Senegal I am positive there is a future. I would like to be involved in as many Festivals as possible whether as a performer or otherwise. I would like to look for residencies that would enable the company to work in an environment that is more friendly for the dancers.
Grant Year : 2007
Attend “Meetings – Confrontations – Exchanges – Between Choreographers and Musicians from Africa and the African Diaspora”, a project organised by the Association JANT-BI at “Ecole des Sables”, International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary Dances of Africa, in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal, from May 15th to 30th 2007.
Type of Project
Departure : Harare – Zimbabwe (Southern Africa)
Destination : Toubab Dialaw – Senegal (West Africa)