Looking at theatre and the arts across North East England, the North East Theatre Guide continues to celebrate culture in our region.
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Preview: IZINDAVA at Newcastle Dance City
artist: Bawren Tavaziva
and Choreographer of IZINDAVA
Newcastle Dance City Theatre
Thursday 12th April 2018
Dance City is excited to welcome
celebrated choreographer Bawren Tavaziva and his stunning group of dancers to
their stage this month as part of the countrywide tour of his breath-taking new
show ‘IZINDAVA’. Beautiful, haunting and provocative, IZINDAVA takes you on an
unforgettable journey to the fractured Zimbabwe of Tavaziva’s childhood,
immersing the viewer in a seamless synthesis of ballet, contemporary and
Photo: Tony Hay
Tavaziva’s career began when he
attended an outreach ballet
project with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe at the age
of 12. After touring Africa for 5 years with the Tumbuka Dance Company,
Tavaziva relocated to the UK where he joined Phoenix and Union Dance before
establishing his own company Tavaziva Dance, winning a fellowship with Dance of the African Diaspora’s
Trailblazer program in the process.
What inspired your
choreography for IZINDAVA?
Bawren: Most of my
work is based on my own experiences. I recently went to Ethiopia to do research
on understanding my background as I was brought up within the Rastafari
movement. It’s different to my usual choreography- the vocabulary is very
different. Initially my idea was very literal and when Ben Voorhaar, the
costume designer brought the costumes, I was inspired and it changed where I
was going with the piece. We get a short space of time to create work and so it
is very physically demanding. The guys work really hard and really believe in
the work. This group is very fresh and I’ve really enjoyed pushing them in a
Why did you choose to
compose the music for Izindava, what was your starting point?
Bawren: I usually
compose all the time and I always want music to be parallel to what I’m doing.
I don’t want to leave that talent behind so I want to keep pushing it. For
Izindava it was very different because I had time to do my research and time to
be in the recording studio and experiment - usually I don’t have that time. I
can’t remember when I started or even which was my first track. It has
progressed a lot from the beginning and I’m not using most of it because when I
get in the dance studio it is totally different, everything changes.
Photo: Tony Hay
What did you gain from
completing the research and development project in Ethiopia and how does it
relate to this work?
Bawren: I went to
Africa to learn about Haile Selassie’s history and who he was (Ethiopia’s last
emperor). That connects with this work because it speaks about the world today,
why our history is destroyed, why we don’t learn about black history. So I
thought I’d go to Ethiopia to research the bible and the Rasta reasoning and
how that would feed into the Izindava work. With dance, I find ways to talk
about things I don’t usually talk about verbally. I’m lucky because I can place
those thoughts on a stage and share it. I got back in touch with my soul and I
got my spirit back so when I returned it was so refreshing to feel human.
IZINDAVA will be performed at Dance City on Thursday 12 April. To find
out more and book tickets visit www.dancecity.co.uk or contact the box
office on 0191 261 0505.