Making use of creativity to spark new energies and imagination- all set for Mafuwe International Festival of Dance

Making use of creativity to spark new energies and imagination- all set for Mafuwe International Festival of Dance
German Dance Group, Elephant Egg, in action. Picture Credits: Christoph Gredler

MAFUWE International Festival of Dance set for Harare at Reps Theatre, National Ballet and Stodart in Mbare will roar into life from 16-18 August 2019.

Mafuwe is a new African networking platform which aims at furthering and promoting contemporary dance and movement under the festival theme INVISIBLE BOUNDARIES. The festival is set to bring together performers from all around the world to meet through the common language of dance.

Founded by creative entrepreneur Plot Mhako, NAMA award winning choreographer and artistic director Brian Geza and award winning German dramaturge and theatre director Cindy Janicke, Mafuwe seeks to create unity through dance and movement by bringing together African and international performances that deal with diversity and intercultural understanding, where dance can be used as common ground, as communications tool, as a way of living and seeing the world. The festival team envisions a colourful and enlightening event, where diverse stories are told through multiple dance genres.

Speaking to one of the organisers, he emphasised on the need to create lasting dance networks in the nation, considering the rise and appreciation of contemporary dance in the society.

“Premised on cultural exchange and growth, the goal is to create a sustainable contemporary dance network in Zimbabwe, across Africa and the world that nurtures professional artistic exchange, as well as it encourages semi-professionals and amateurs to discover the joy of movement and artistic expression,” said Plot Mhako.

“The festival further aims to implement an online platform, where African dance companies and dancers would be presented together with a summary of the dance scene in their countries. This should become a vivid platform to showcase and exchange and create collaborations,” he added.

Mhako said that preparations for the festival are at an advanced stage with local and international contemporary dance companies set to perform at the inaugural Mafuwe International Festival of Dance.

The organisers are currently working on clearances for the foreign artists, which include, Coren Oran and Renegade Dance Company from Germany, Espace Darja dance company from Morocco, Jessica Nupen \ Moving Into Dance Mophatong from South Africa and Faizzal from Uganda.

Local productions to be part of the historic event include Multi-award winning Jerahuni Movement Factory, Chaleen Chimara Dance Company, NAMA award winning 2019 best female dancer Vein Alfazima, Tatenda Chabarwa – SHHH, Dance Trust of Zimbabwe. There is also a slot for non-professional dance companies The Chozen, Infinity Dance Company and Megatron crew.

Gwevedzi will provide a musical performance whilst Simba Arts will be facilitating the traditional music and dance exchange and outreach with the visiting artists.

The festival, being a huge initiative and historic moment for the dance community, has managed to rope in support from the German Federal Foreign Office, US Embassy Harare, Hamburg”s Ministry of Culture and Media, Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine -Westphalia, the City of Munich, Department of arts and Culture, Schleswig-Holstein Ministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur, Zimbabwe German Society, Reps Theatre, Zimbojam and Jibilika Dance Trust.