The whole experience is a highlight. The first class – A dance studio within Nature, a view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Senegalese Baobab bush, breath taking inspiring space for a Dance. The unity in African communities was a great success, seeing the transmission of a variety of African Cultural dances rise with 23 different textures. Seeing Senegal, Rwanda, Togo etc. Dancing the South African Zulu Dance like they owned the dance was a reflection of accomplishment. When Africa unites a wealth of culture, diversity, development and growth is possible for a artistically prosperous Africa. Language was one of the bigger challenges we faced. Even with two languages (French and English) to translate. Some dancers could only express them selves in their ethnic Language. The way forward was to embrace the universal Language “Dance”. In addition we were fortunate to have one participant who could translate. I acclimatised to the challenge and learned as much of the French language as I could to be able to make the necessary connection and communicate with our fellow francophone dancers. Even though we are all Africans, there was great difference in Culture, Up bringing and Education. At times I found my self teaching my fellow dancer’s, basic skills in Contemporary dance. Having to spend most of the time with our fellow dancers mean we would also experience some difference in ways of living with regards to culture, religion etc. Some were shocking, but I was there to learn. So I accepted invitations and spent my free time visiting families in the Villages to learn more about the Culture in this part of Africa. During my visit I made connections with many of the dancers. We have made contacts and we continue to communicate even now. In planning for the future, I am sure to work with members from the training. This could be in a form of collaboration for the some of the Festivals here in South Africa eg. FNB Dance Umbrella. I had worked with a dancer From Rwanda, the work was inspired by the way they celebrated their history of genocide. At first, we looked at the relationship between their, Genocide and Apartheid in SA but now we are also looking at what is happening in SA with xenophobia to day.
Grant Year : 2008
African Contemporary dance Workshop held in Senegal for 23 countries form Africa. Hosted by the mother of African Contemporary dance Germaine Acogny at Ecole Des Sables. 39 Participant selected to share knowledge and culture of their traditional dance forms, with Guest Dance professors from Africa, Europe and USA. A journey of a life time that all African, Contemporary dancers, should take.
Type of Project
Departure : Johannesburg, South Africa (Southern Africa)
Destination : Dakar – Senegal (West Africa)