By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
The just-ended inaugural edition of the Mafuwe International Festival of Dance lived up to its billing and delivered an electric and memorable three-day event despite threats from the MDC-a failed mass demonstration.
The festival kicked of last Friday in the capital with an array of dance programmes at Reps Theatre, the National Ballet and Barca Bar in Mbare.National Arts Merit Award- winning McNtosh Jerahuni’s “Jerahuni Movement'”opened the festival with a site specific piece that touched on the issue of social cohesion which was followed by “Moving Into Dance”, Mophatong’s “Johannesburg” and “Rebellion”.
The globally acclaimed South African dance company gave a charged, amusing but true reflection of life, love and cultural vibrancy depicting a Johannesburg setting that left the audience in awe.
Later that evening visiting disc jockeys Maya from Germany, Faizal Mostrixx from Uganda and our own Ace of Spades treated the festival audience to great partying.
The following day Mafuwe moved to Jibilika academy where a hip-hop workshop was conducted by members from Renegade (Germany) and in Mbare where Ceren Oran performed for children.
The local community also took part in the festival with Lilongwe Gule club mesmerising the audience before four local semi-professional dance companies putup a scintillating performances on Zimbabwean urban dance at Reps Theatre.
Speaking at the sidelines of the festival, Plot Mhako –co-founder and organiser of Mafuwe — expressed his delight with the turnout and support from cooperates, locals and other countries.
“This is a good start and so far so good. We are in the right direction. Zimbabwe is full of talented youngsters and this is the chance to give them the platform to shine. We did it! We defied many odds and proved what a people united and determined could do to bring new energy and inspire a community positively,” he said.
The festival closed with a powerful performance by the Dance Trust of Zimbabwe’s outreach team titled “Cyclone Idai”, a play that emotionally relived the pain, horror of the deadly cyclone that left the people of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique deeply scarred.
On the same night Uganda’s Faizal Ddamba performed “Echoes”, a piece that touched on inner struggles, religion and the desire for good. Moroccan Meryem Jazoulis’s “L’aaroussa”, which means the bride in Arabic, was a marvel to watch.
Organised by Mhako, Brian Geza and Cindy Jaenicke, the festival had 26 international artistes and 35 locals taking part.