Seychelles to host 9th Biennale de Dance from August 21 - September 1





The 9th Biennale de Dance which incorporates different styles of dance will start on August 21 and will culminate with a grand gala evening at the International Conference Centre (ICCS) on September 1.

Besides Seychelles, four countries will take part in this year’s Biennale - Madagascar, Mauritius, Rodrigues and South Korea, the latter bringing in a seven-member team of dancers.

The event is being organised by the School of Dance under the umbrella of the National Conservatoire of Performing Arts (NCPA).

A press conference was hosted this week at the department of culture’s conference room to inform the press about the event.

Present at the press conference were Pierre Joseph, NCPA director; Alvin Laurence, chief executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC); Joel Rose and Ruth Barbe, dance instructors; and Daniella Rose, head of programme for dance.

The NCPA has described the event as a perfect opportunity for the school to give registered students and other local dance practitioners much needed exposure to current regional and international trends as far as this artistic event is concerned.

The NCPA has also announced the presence of a prominent dance figure at the Biennale - Australian contemporary dancer and emerging choreographer Scott Ewen, who is with the Australian Dance Theatre. Scott trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), studying a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. At graduation, Scott was the recipient of the Hawaiian Award for the most outstanding graduate and the Finley Award in Dance for the student demonstrating the most promise.

And to get these groups together to come to the Seychelles, the department of culture had to get the support of its parent ministry and other sponsors like Cinea (Creative Industries and National Events Agency), SNYC, to name some.

“Each participating country will perform a short piece representative of their country. They will work on their piece with one main choreographer, none other than Scott Ewen.

“We’ve tried to find one main choreographer who has a reputation in contemporary dance and very strong in his field and with whom dancers have a crave to work. We managed to secure Mr Ewen’s presence here after contacting various dance companies for a good choreographer,” said Mr Joseph.

The Biennale de Dance in Seychelles, he said, is focusing on contemporary dances. There might be some fusions of traditional and that of some other cultures but it is always contemporary.

“It’s what we bring together every two years to use it as a vehicle for the development of dance in Seychelles,” Mr Joseph said.

In the year there is no biennale, the group of dance teachers and students work outside of Seychelles on a special workshop which lasts the normal time span as a Biennale itself. What they gained from the workshops are showcased in the Biennale de Dance.

“For that reason we have to focus on a specific age group, especially on students who have got a background of dancing skills, have the physique, the discipline and the will power to bring dancing to another level,” he said.

He stressed on the importance of good dancing which he said is not a hobby or a leisure but something very serious and demanding, if it can be put that way.

Shedding more light on the Biennale de Dance, Joel Rose said it is a ten-day programme with events occurring every day.

He said it is a very intensive programme where classes run from 9am to 6pm everyday, beginning with a warm-up technique class.

It will be led by head choreographers or leaders of the various groups.

“It will be led by a different person every day so by the end of the 10 days, participants would have had a taste of the different styles of dance each group proposes,” he said.

Adding to that, Joel said, there will be an afternoon open workshop where various people who practice dance in Seychelles can take part in the Biennale. It will be a maximum of five dancers per group.

As for the gala, Ms Barbe said it is a time where every finale piece of dance performances are presented to the audience.

“The highlight of the gala will be the main piece in which everybody will be involved,” she said. The gala evening is a first time event and revenue collected will go towards best awarded student. And as they attend workshops overseas, the money will cover the child’s ticket, workshops and other logistics fees. They are for children aged from 11-15 years while the Biennale is for those of 15 years onwards.

Tickets are on sale at R100 and are available at the School of Dance, department of culture and at SNYC.







Send your comment :

Name *

Email *

Comment *