You have been working with Bawren for seven years now, how have you found your new role as rehearsal assistant?
This contract has been a totally different experience for me. I’ve really enjoyed the increased responsibility because it’s given me a new challenge and a step up from being just a dancer. Becoming rehearsal assistant came at the right time because the company is very new this year, so the other dancers come to me for advice and help. It’s been really great to have the opportunity to teach class in the mornings as I know what the dancers bodies need and want day-to-day. It’s been a massive challenge but a challenge that I needed to give me fresh inspiration for this contract.
What is the energy like within this new group of dancers?
It’s very different to last year, obviously because everyone’s fresh and new, there’s an air of excitement which is a really nice vibe to be around all the time. There’s also more time and space within rehearsals because they know the work less. It’s a good thing because everyone’s come in at the same level and at the same time.
How has this creation process been different to past productions you have worked on?
The new company has just made a massive difference. Working with the same people for seven years you know their habits, the way they move and exactly how to dance with them. With new partners you have to learn all over again how they dance and their work ethics. It’s been great to have six new dancers and to be able to watch them, take things and be inspired by each one of them and their way of moving.
Izindava has a lot of messages within it, what do you hope the audience take from the show?
I think Izindava is very relatable and current to what the world is going through at the moment, whether it’s political or whether it’s just a personal journey. For me the main message that I take from the piece is; life is short, stop war and love more. Be more content with the people around you, the work you do, the life you lead and be grateful, instead of causing all this awfulness in the world.
14 September 2017
We interview Bawren Tavaziva on creating his brand new work Izindava and composing the music.
Why did you choose to compose the music for Izindava, what was your starting point?
I usually compose all the time and I always want music to be parallel to what I’m doing. I don’t want to leave that talent behind so I want to keep pushing it. For Izindava it was very different because I had time to do my research and time to be in the recording studio and experiment – usually I don’t have that time.
I can’t remember when I started or even which was my first track. It has progressed a lot from the beginning and I’m not using most of it because when I get in the dance studio it is totally different, everything changes.
You have previously stated ‘the music is the drive’, what do you mean by this and how is it reflected in the dancers’ movement?
The music is the drive because as a choreographer, if you use the wrong music for the wrong idea, it just doesn’t work. The music is the drive to support what I’m visually seeing. The music I’m working on right now is very African-driven spiritually but I’m trying to experiment with software so the sound is very different. If I can find the right music, my body automatically finds the movement.
What inspired your choreography for Izindava?
Izindava is not what I expected! It’s grown into a much bigger idea and touches on a lot of subjects. Most of my work is based on my own experiences, I’ve always been afraid of the dark and I grew up with fear. I recently went to Ethiopia to do research on understanding my background as I was brought up within the Rastafari movement. It’s different to my usual choreography- the vocabulary is very different. Initially my idea was very literal and when Ben Voorhaar, the costume designer brought the costumes, I was inspired and it changed where I was going with the piece. We get a short space of time to create work and so it is very physically demanding. The guys work really hard and really believe in the work. This group is very fresh and I’ve really enjoyed pushing them in a different way.
What did you gain from completing the research and development project in Ethiopia and how does it relate to this work?
I went to Africa to learn about Haile Selassie’s history and who he was. That connects with this work because it speaks about the world today, why our history is destroyed, why we don’t learn about black history, for example why do we only have one black history month? So I thought I’d go to Ethiopia to research the bible and the Rasta reasoning and how that would feed into the Izindava work. With dance, I find ways to talk about things I don’t usually talk about verbally. I’m lucky because I can place those thoughts on a stage and share it. I got back in touch with my soul and I got my spirit back so when I returned it was so refreshing to feel human. Not to be running after money all the time, to lose your humanity and your soul and your spirit and to be stuck in a world of science. It is always nice to be in touch with nature again and that will show in the work.
Izindava will be touring the UK this autumn and spring 2018. Check out the Izindava page for further details and to book your tickets.
21 August 2017
Come and take a sneak preview of Tavaziva’s new work Izindava at the National Theatre’s River Stage this Sunday 27 August at 2.15pm and 4.30pm. We’ll see you there!
16 August 2017
Maya Pindar interviews Bawren Tavaziva and rehearsal Assistant Lisa Rowley for her blog The Insanity in Dancing. Click here to read the full interview about the creation of Bawren’s new work Izindava, touring this Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018.
10 August 2017
This autumn Tavaziva will premier a new work Izindava – we’d like to introduce to you the company of 7 highly trained dancers, taking on the task of articulating Bawren’s unique movement language.
Read more about the dancers here – just click on each of their faces to see full biographies.
Watch this space for more information about the new work and up-coming tour dates.
3 August 2017
National Theatre’s River Stage returns to the south bank of the Thames this summer, bringing an eclectic combination of theatre, DJs, family fun, vibrant dance, outdoor cinema, workshops and the very best live music acts – there’s nowhere better to soak up the sun and the atmosphere this summer.
Tavaziva will be sharing a sneak-peek of our new work Izindava, which will go on to do a UK tour in autumn 17 and spring 18. We will be performing on Sunday 27 August at 2.15pm and 4.30pm, see River Stage website for further details and other events happening that weekend.
Watch this space for more information about the new work and tour dates!
28 July 2017
Tavaziva has been successful in its application to receive National portfolio funding 2018-2022. National Portfolio Organisations receive regular funding from the Arts Council and represent some of the best arts practice in the world.
Arts Council England has a mission to support “Great art and culture for everyone” and feel that Tavaziva’s work supports their aim to have a diverse portfolio that produces work relevant to the world we live in. We share their interest to support fresh talent and artists from many different backgrounds and represent national diversity.
29 June 2017
Bawren is teaching his unique synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance styles throughout summer and autumn, during the creation of his new work Izindava. Be ready for a highly energetic and physically challenging contemporary class that will raise your fitness levels. Click here for further details and information on how to book.
15 June 2017
Tavaziva is looking for an additional female dancer to join the company for the creation and touring of its new production – July 2017 to April 2018.
Click here to download the information pack with contract and application details
Audition takes place in London on Wednesday 28 June 2017
Application deadline: 10am Thursday 22 June 2017
12 May 2017
We are looking forward to our second annual TavIntensive this weekend!
Participants will spend the weekend working with Bawren learning his unique choreographic style and technique fusing contemporary and African dance styles.
There are a limited number of places still available so if you wish to attend please come to bbodance studios at 10am on Saturday 13 May to register.
£80 cash for both days and £40 for just the Saturday.
For full details about the event click here
We will also be holding an open studio sharing session at 4pm on Sunday 14 May for anyone interested in coming along.
Hope to see you there!