Jazzart will present an explosive celebration of dance from across the country in ‘Azishe!’ at the Artscape Theatre from July 4 to 7.
Translated from isiZulu, azishe means “let it burn”. The festival name comes from the energy, passion and hunger to succeed that its participants have brought to Jazzart Dance Theatre’s ‘Danscape’, now ‘Azishe!’, festival stage since 1999.
“‘Azishe!’ offers an opportunity for audiences to enjoy the explosive and breathtaking performances from dancers across the country,” says ‘Azishe!’ Festival Director and Jazzart choreographer, Mziyanda Mancam. “The programme this year is a celebration of the various participants’ journeys, expressed through their inspiring different styles of dance. ‘Azishe!’ provides a platform for professional dancers to share their work, while also nurturing emerging companies and creating space for community initiatives that build skills, confidence and empowerment.
“For the first time, we are also proud to present a work performed by two of the groups from Jazzart’s Outreach programme. Titled ‘Umlando’, it is choreographed by Aphiwe Live and Wendy Thoane, both graduates of the Jazzart Training Programme, and teachers for Future Line Academy and Gijima Creative Arts respectively. ‘Umlando’ takes the premise that each individual can only understand their own journey,” says Mziyanda.
Jazzart Dance Theatre will perform three works. The first will be ‘Unlimited’, choreographed by Mziyanda and featuring the male members of the professional company and trainees, who impressed audiences earlier this year in ‘Destination…Lerato’; while Jazzart Artistic Director Jackie Manyaapelo will choreographs ‘Seya’ for the female members. ‘Seya’ will also include an intern from Plymouth State University, USA, Annamaria Klucevsek.
Jazzart company member Shaun Oelf will perform a solo called ‘You Beautiful’, choreographed by Ina Wichterich-Mogane. The artist will explore how we perceive our own reflection, which is not always the image that other people see.
Jazzart marks its fortieth birthday this year and is one of South Africa’s longest-standing and most celebrated dance companies. It is a non-profit organisation, which through its three tiers, not only produces award-winning, innovative dance productions featuring the professional company, but also aims to transform society through its Trainee and Outreach Programmes.
The company’s most recent production, ‘Biko’s Quest’, was created and presented in collaboration with The Steve Biko Centre.
* Tickets cost R70 or R50 for block bookings of ten or more. Book at Computicket.