19 March 2019

Zimbabwe: Dancing Is a Profession Too - Nama Winners

Unheralded three times National Art Merit Awards (NAMA) dancing winners, Gwinyai Masangomai and Michelle Nativel, say the arts community should treat dancers as professionals.

The duo of "Dance Avenue" Studio based in Rolf Valley, Borrowdale, told The Herald Arts in an interview ahead of their 2019 show dubbed "Queen Tribute".

The show which is scheduled to take place next month from 3-7 at Reps Theatre in Avondale, is inspired by the movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'

"People don't know that dancing is a career that, if taken seriously can sustain livelihoods. Preparations for the 'Queen Tribute' show are at advanced stage and we are choreographing and directing the 20 member dance team called the 'Eighth Avenue'," said Nativel.


She said that it was their hope to try and develop the dance genre as a profession in Zimbabwe.

"I think we should push boundaries when it comes to art. Rather than us travelling abroad, attending and participating in world festivals, we should invest in dancing by inviting those mentors here in Zimbabwe. They can come and teach our local upcoming and aspiring dancers," she said.

Masangomai, affectionately known as "Airbone", added that dancing was about passion, hence it is their full-time career.

The duo are known best for last year's production, Lion King, at Reps Theatre which was sold out.

They won a gold medal at the Hip-Hop International tourney in 2014, which was held in Norway.

Airbone and Nativel said their role model was United States dance couple Keone and Mari Madrid whom they have also trained together at the Urban Dance Camp in Germany.


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