Interview with Bawren Tavaziva

14 September 2017

We interview Bawren Tavaziva on creating his brand new work Izindava and composing the music.

Bawren 3 cropped










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.

Introducing the Izindava Dancers

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.

Tavaziva Performs at River Stage Festival 2017

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!


Success for Tavaziva!

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.

Professional Class is Back!

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.bawren


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!


Tavaziva is seeking two male dancers for the creation and touring of its new production

12 April 2017

Audition takes place in London on Thurs 4 May with recalls on Fri 5 May 2017

Deadline to apply is Thursday 27 April 2017 (12 noon)

Tavaziva is looking for two experienced male dance artists with strong ballet and contemporary techniques for the creation and touring of Bawren’s new production IZINDAVA. Applicants must be available for rehearsals in London and to tour throughout autumn 2017 and spring 2018 (see dates below).

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

The contract will be offered on a freelance basis with a weekly fee for rehearsals and a per performance fee during touring.

Izindava Red Photo Credit Dillonrose


















Creation period: 24 July- 22 September 2017

Provisional performance dates:

28 September 2017

2, 5, 12-13, 20-21 October 2017

1 or 2, 23 November 2017

24 or 31 January 2018

1, 6 February 2018

19-20 March 2018

12, 14 April 2018

Additional performance dates, rehearsals and travel days will be added.

To apply: please send your CV and any show reel links to by 12 noon Thursday 27 April

You will be contacted on Friday 28 April if you have been selected to attend the audition.

Please DO NOT apply if you are not available for these dates. Please note the company is unable to cover travel or accommodation costs to attend the audition.

If you have any questions please email or call 020 8237 7010.

Tavaziva is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all. Please let us know of any access requirements on application. 

Photo:, Design: TM

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