Bawren Tavaziva’s unique style is
a choreographic synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance.

About

Tavaziva was established in 2004 and is led by Zimbabwean-born Bawren Tavaziva. His unique style is a choreographic synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance.

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Our highly trained dancers articulate Bawren’s unique movement language with athletic physicality, grace and technical precision.

Tavaziva dancers are: Lisa Rowley (Rehearsal Assistant), Luke Crook, Andy Race, Tom Shale-Coates, Yaa Appiah-Badu, Asmara Cammock (Apprentice) and Nicole Victor (Apprentice) – Izindava cast.

Tavaziva tour a production each year to venues throughout the UK, run a post-graduate dance apprenticeship programme, deliver a range of education and training programmes for young men and schools, and is regularly commissioned to make work for organisations such as CAT (Centre for Advanced Training), Association of the African Diaspora, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Southbank Centre.

Tavaziva is funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and is also supported by John Lyon’s Charity, Garfield Weston and Sainsbury’s Monument Trust.

Mission

Tavaziva’s vision
is to make original contemporary African choreography that excites, transforms
and enriches people’s experience of dance.

Through performances, training, learning and participation, we aim
to share a culture of creative exchange, opportunity, excellence and innovation.

Bawren’s Story

Bawren Tavaziva was born in a rural village near Masvingo in Zimbabwe. Football, Michael Jackson, New Edition and Kung Fu movies viewed at the local community hall provided inspiration to Bawren and his friends. Bawren’s musical talents also developed at this time on a guitar made by his brother from a 5 litre tin can and fishing wire.

At the age of 12 Bawren Tavaziva attended an outreach ballet project with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe at his local community centre. From day one, his determination and talent led him to a life-long passion for dance. He danced with Tumbuka for five years and toured Africa. He came to England to join Phoenix and Union dance and in 2004 he presented his own choreography and music as a finalist at The Place Prize with a deeply moving quintet entitled Umdhlalo Kasisi, in memory of his sister who sadly died of HIV.

After this, Bawren formed his own company and became Artistic Director of Tavaziva Dance and in the same year won a fellowship with Dance of the African Diaspora’s Trailblazer programme.

His work can be controversial, aiming to provoke and change audience’s perceptions as he challenges conventions and highlights important issues that are unspoken especially in Zimbabwe.

Inspired by his own experience growing up in Zimbabwe, Bawren takes pride in providing opportunities for new dancers and young people. In 2012 he set up Tavaziva Male, a project that trains young men. He is particularly focused on supporting graduate apprenticeship dancers to becoming first-class professionals.

Bawren’s distinctive African style is highly original, inventive and contemporary. Recent  choreographic commissions include making work for: CAT (Centre for Advanced Training), ADAD (Association of the African Diaspora), Transitions, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Horniman Museum and Southbank Centre.

Bawren Tavaziva’s impressive body of work includes: Umdlalo Kasisi 2004, Soul Inspired 2005, Bophelo 2006, Chatsva 2007, Heart of Darkness 2009, Wild Dog 2010, Double Take 2011, Sensual Africa 2012, Greed 2013, Tavaziva Ten 2014, Africarmen 2015.

Bawren has embarked on various research trips to Africa, most recently visiting Ethiopia in 2016 to explore the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Rastafari movement. In 2016 Artistic Director of Rambert Mark Baldwin OBE invited Bawren to work with Polka Theatre’s Artistic Director Pete Glanville to create Mud Boy, a new work for children and family audiences. In 2018 Bawren will choreograph for Euton Daley MBE’s Ending the Silence, a trilogy of work fusing dance, theatre and performance poetry.

Tavaziva has produced a Black Dance Archives Learning Resource that documents Bawren Tavaziva’s dance career and includes interviews with Bawren and workshop examples— Learning Resource available here

BT VINTAGE3 (1)

Bawren, aged 4, with his mother

Bawren young dancer copy

Bawren performing with Tumbuka Dance Company, Zimbabwe

Dancers

Tavaziva dancers perform in our national tours, at special
events and festivals, assist Bawren Tavaziva with auditions
and choreographic projects and as highly skilled workshop
leaders, deliver workshops across our extensive Learning
and Participation programme. 

‘Every dancer is magnificent— every single one. It is a contemporary African masterpiece.’ *****

Afridiziak Theatre News

Past Productions

‘The most defining feature of his movement is the attack of the dancers, the strength of their technique and their joy in dancing.’

The Stage

TM Tavaziva2168 cropped for about us page

Izindava

2017-18
Dancers
Andy Race
Asmara Cammock (Apprentice)
Lisa Rowley
Luke Crook
Nicole Victor (Apprentice)
Tom Shale-Coates
Yaa Appiah-Badu
Greed

Greed

2013
Dancers
Katie Cambridge
Lisa Rowley
Petros Treklis
Anna Watkins
Ellen Yilma

Apprentice Dancers
Leire Garin
Claire Lambert
Gabriela Montgomery-Solano
wild dog

Wild Dog

2010
Dancers
Kristina Alleyne
Katie Cambridge
Anna Watkins
Jade Yung
Graham Adey
Martina Bussi
Devaraj Thimmaiah
Lisa Rowley
Petros Treklis

Apprentice Dancers
Serena Morgan
Hannah Spencer

Bophelo

Bophelo

2006
Dancers
Bawren Tavaziva,
Diwele Molale Lubi,
Gibson Muriva,
Nicholas Wat
Photo Credit 6 - MANOJ NAIR Dancers Lisa Rowley & Theo Samsworth

Africarmen

2015-17
Dancers
Anna Watkins
Ellen Yilma
Carmine De Amicis
Jordan Bridge
Lisa Rowley
Theo Samsworth
Amelia Coates
sensual africa

Sensual Africa

2012
Dancers
Katie Cambridge
Travis Clausen-Knight
Lisa Rowley
Petros Treklis
Anna Watkins

Apprentice Dancers
Viola Vicini
Lauren Wilson
Ellen Yilma

heartofdarkness

Heart of Darkness

2009
Dancers
Ingrid Abbott
Amanda Lewis
Gerrard Martin
Anna Watkins
Everton Wood
Kristina Alleyne
Katie Cambridge
Jade Yung
Graham Adey
Martina Bussi
Tony James-Andersson
soulinspired

Soul Inspired

2005
Dancers
Bawren Tavaziva
Paula Condiut
Lerato Lipere
Simon Foster
Arthur Kyeyune
Nicholas Watson
Diwele Molale Lubi
Tavaziva ten

Tavaziva Ten

2014
Dancers
Anna Watkins
Katie Cambridge
Petros Treklis
Bafana Solomon Matea
Ellen Yilma
Carmine De Amicis
Daniella Selwood
Lisa Rowley
Louis Parker-Evans
Theo Samsworth
Double take

Double Take

2010–11
Dancers
Kristina Alleyne
Katie Cambridge
Lisa Rowley
Petros Treklis
Anna Watkins
Travis Clausen-Knight

Apprentice Dancers
Serena Morgan
Hannah Spencer
Chevon Edwards
Viola Vicini
Lauren Wilson
Ellen Yilma

chatsva

Chatsva (Explosion)

2007-8
Dancers
Samson Felo,
Amanda Lewis,
Lerato Lipere,
Shelley-Ann Maxwell,
Anna Watkins,
Nick Watson,
Xenoula Eleftheriades
Umdlalo Kasisi, 2004

Umdlalo Kasisi

2004
Dancers
Bawren Tavaziva
Keisha Grant
Navala Chaudhari
Jake Nwogu
Yamuna Devi Chaudhari

Staff

Artistic Director
Bawren Tavaziva

Executive Director & Creative Producer
Beth Cinamon

Company Manager
Emily Winfield and Chloe Seddon (job share)

Learning & Participation Manager
Kathleen Murphy

Surrey University Administrative Placement
Anna-Louise Fleet

Board of Directors
Marie McCluskey MBE (Chair), Colin Bourne Collins, Tina Mermiri, Mercy Nabirye, Mykaell Riley, Amanda Saunders, Lydia Scott

Finance Manager
Jan Hart

Fundraising Consultant (Freelance)
Rachel Gibson

Honorary President
Peter Kyle OBE

Creative Collaborators

Photography
Alfred Bailey (Dillonrose.com)

Graphic Design
TM (tm-studio.co.uk)

Rehearsal Director
Joanne Bernard

Writer and Dramaturge
Peter Glanville

Costume Designer
Ben Voorharr & Sabrina Zyla (Karisma Costumes)

Lighting Designer
Sherry Coenen

Production Manager
Christopher Silvester

Creative Consultant
Jeanefer Jean-Charles

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