South Africa: U.S. Dance Company and S.A. Dancer Make S.A .debut

press release

Three week, three city 'Dancing to Connect' tour

The internationally renowned dance company, Battery Dance Company, makes its South African debut this September, joined by South African dancer, Bafana Solomon Matea.

Matea, originally from Mamelodi in Pretoria, joined the New York based dance company in 2004 and is a Cecchetti Advanced Dance Graduate of the Pro Art Alphen Park School in Pretoria. He has performed around the globe in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia with the Company and will be back in South Africa for the company's three week, three cities Dancing to Connect tour, from September 17 to October 5, 2012.

Bafana says, "Creativity is everyone's right and I love being able to help inspire young people to open up and find new ways to express themselves. "

Dancing to Connect, an award- winning initiative created by the Battery Dance Company, engages youth in creativity and team-building through the art form of modern dance. The company's world-class performers bring with them influences from various countries and through workshops, they connect with local youth, some of whom have no dance background, and together create a dance performance formed through a week's cultural exchange experience.

For many, interacting with Battery Dance Company provides the first exposure to professional artists. The Dancing to Connect workshops open doors for teens as they transition into the leaders and engaged citizens of tomorrow.

Workshops and performances schedule as follows:

September

17th - 20th: Durban, South Africa.

Dancing to Connect workshops with youth and young adult groups at Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre

21st: Durban, South Africa.

Performance by Battery Dance Company and Dancing to Connect participants at the Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre

24th - 28th: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dancing to Connect Workshops with 3 groups of local students at the National School of the Arts, Sibikwa Arts Center , Moving into Dance Mephatong,

24th - 28th: Pretoria, South Africa.

Dancing to Connect Workshops with 2 groups of students Youth in Trust Arts Initiative at the State Theatre

29th: Pretoria, South Africa.

Final Performance by Battery Dance Company and 5 student groups at Breytenbach Theater

October

1st - 4th: Cape Town, South Africa.

Dancing to Connect workshops in communities located in the Cape Flats Area coordinated by IKapa Dance Theatre

5th: Cape Town, South Africa.

Final Performance by Battery Dance Company and 5 student groups at Magnet Theatre

About Dance Battery Company:

Since its founding in 1976, Battery Dance Company has brought more than 100 dance pieces to life; performed extensively in 40 countries; and mentored more than 200,000 public school students through its Dancing to Connectâ„¢ program. The company founder and artistic director, Jonathan Hollander, is one of the outstanding choreographers of his generation and a leader in international cultural exchange and social activism through dance.

Before each trip begins, Battery Dance Company partners with host countries to design a schedule that reinforces the company's dedication to making its art widely accessible and using dance to foster intercultural understanding.

Biography:

Bafana Solomon Matea - Dancer, Teaching Artist, Choreographer

Bafana Matea joined Battery Dance Company in 2004 and has performed in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia with the Company. He was born in Mamelodi, South Africa and is a Cecchetti Advanced Dance Graduate of the Pro Art Alphen Park School in Pretoria and the recipient of an Alvin Ailey South African Dance Fellowship. His previous company affiliations have been with Elisa Monte Dance and Ballet Hispanico. His choreography has been presented by Battery Dance Company in New York City, Africa and Europe.

His pedagogical experience is vast, having taught master classes and led Dancing to Connect workshops internationally with Battery Dance Company in Algeria, China, DRC, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Taiwan and in American schools and colleges in New York and New Jersey. He trained German dance teachers in the skills of teaching Dancing to Connect workshops in Frankfurt and Potsdam in 2010 and Spanish dance teachers in Madrid in 2011.

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