Bawren Tavaziva’s unique style is
a choreographic synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance.
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.
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.
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 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
Bawren, aged 4, with his mother
Bawren performing with Tumbuka Dance Company, Zimbabwe
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
He joined Michael Clark Company in July 2016 and has toured ‘To a simple rock’n’roll … song’ internationally since. Kieran joined Tavaziva in March 2018.
Tom started dancing at the age of 14 when he was accepted to the Swindon Centre of Advanced Training. At the age of 18 he successfully gained a place at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. After graduating he started working in Malta with Contact Dance Company. whilst in Malta he had the opportunity to work with the newly formed ZfinMalta Dance Ensemble, where he learnt rep from artists like Mavin khoo and Joes Agudo. Since then he has been performing at The Royal Opera House. In such productions as Eugene Onegin, Boris Godunov and Odepie. Tom joined Tavaziva in July 2017.
Originally from Gibraltar, Nicole Victor has recently graduated from Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD). Before moving to England she trained and performed competitively in several dance styles such as Jazz, Modern and Ballet. Throughout her time at NSCD she has worked with artists such as Laila Diallo, Gracefool Collective, Dam Van Huynh and Freddie Opoku-Addaie. The highlight of her time studying at NSCD was performing in her Graduation Showcase with piece choreographed by Kerry Nicholls as well as being selected to present her own solo work. Nicole joined Tavaziva as an apprentice in July 2017.
Lisa was a founding member of Joss Arnott Dance Company and has toured with them since 2010. In 2014 Lisa worked on a solo ‘Not waving’ collaborating with director Paul Sadot which was awarded arts council funding to develop and tour in autumn 2015. Lisa went to Africa alongside Bawren to work with Dinani dance group in Ghana. More recently Lisa has been back in the studio with Joss Arnott working on a new trio called ‘A Movement in 3’. Lisa also teaches her own workshops throughout the UK and at certain vocational schools such as Italia Conti. Lisa joined Tavaziva in September 2010 and is very pleased to be taking on a new role this year as Rehearsal Assistant.
Yaa graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2010, where she had the opportunity to work with Choreographers such as Kerry Nicholls, Aletta Collins and Etta Murfitt. Upon graduating, Yaa has danced for various artists including Freddie Opoku-Addaie, Simeon Qysea in collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Company, Shaun Parker, Rhiannon Faith as well as performing at Secret Cinema and the Olympics Opening Ceremony. She was a featured dancer in the Guinness commercial ‘Intolerant Champion’ directed by Jake Nava and choreographed by Gary Nurse and Jreena Green. Yaa worked as a backing dancer for the sensational singer Laura Mvula performing choreography by Aaron Sillis in Music videos, live shows and for television. Yaa joined Tavaziva in July 2017.
Luke is a freelance dance artist based in London. He trained at London Contemporary Dance School, where he graduated in 2015 with First Class Honours and has had the opportunity to perform works by Richard Alston, Didy Veldman, Crystal Pite, and Kerry Nicholls. Since graduating Luke has been working in both commercial and contemporary settings; dancing in music videos, gallery exhibitions and fashion promotion. Luke has performed in conceptual works by Pablo Bronstein as well as Holly Blakey, N’da Dance Company, Hubert Essakow, Fevered Sleep and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. Recently working with Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Luke has performed a new solo work, Ulysses Awakes in collaboration with the 12 Ensemble, as well as the company’s newest work 8 Minutes. Luke joined Tavaziva in July 2017.
Asmara is from south east London and began dancing at age 7 at Scott Wiseman School of dance. She studied modern, jazz, hip-hop and tap. Aged 16 she attended The Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology where she found her love for contemporary dance. Through the young creative scheme her knowledge of contemporary dance grew, she then went on to create a solo work which was performed at the Royal Opera House with mentoring from Kerry Nichols. Asmara joined Quicksilver (Rambert Youth Company), Avant Garde Youth and PPL Dance Company. During her time completing her training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance she has worked with Phoenix Dance Theatre: Sharon Watson (Leeds Bid for Cultural Capital of Europe) and Dance film projects with Jack Thomson. Asmara joined Tavaziva as an apprentice in July 2017.
‘The most defining feature of his movement is the attack of the dancers, the strength of their technique and their joy in dancing.’
Asmara Cammock (Apprentice)
Nicole Victor (Apprentice)
Diwele Molale Lubi,
Carmine De Amicis
Heart of Darkness
Diwele Molale Lubi
Bafana Solomon Matea
Carmine De Amicis
Yamuna Devi Chaudhari
Executive Director & Creative Producer
Learning & Participation Manager
Board of Directors
Marie McCluskey MBE (Chair), Colin Bourne Collins, Tina Mermiri, Lydia Scott, Mercy Nabirye
Fundraising Consultant (Freelance)
Peter Kyle OBE
Alfred Bailey (Dillonrose.com)
Writer and Dramaturge
Ben Voorharr & Sabrina Zyla (Karisma Costumes)