I STILL BREATHE

Tavaziva has been working with Film maker Alfred George Bailey, Modern Films and Project Sixty4 on new documentary I STILL BREATHE about a group of socially aware young adults who give extraordinary and deeply emotional testimonies of being black, mixed race and white in London, England. They passionately react to the impact of George Floyd’s brutal and unnecessary killing which has sent shockwaves globally. The response to this inhumane act has been an awakening in the collective social consciousness, and “Black Lives Matter” has echoed around the world. But what will happen now? Will power and privilege continue to turn a blind eye? Or will the new generation see what the current custodians have achieved for good and ill, and come together to right the wrongs of the past to bring in a new era of hope for the future?

I STILL BREATHE is a statement of hope for the world because, Sometimes the most profound messages come from the voices that are unheard. Featuring Tavaziva dancers Lisa Rowley and Dak Mashava. 

The documentary premiered on Sky Arts on Sunday 18 October and Battersea Arts Centre are presenting it as part of their Make/Love Season this monthWe Will Still Breathe is an online event of film and performance, debate and discussion curated by Battersea Arts CentreAlfred George Bailey and Tunde Adefioye, to navigate ways to acknowledge, transform and move forward. 

The event will open with a panel discussion, chaired by Tunde Adefioye and featuring Jaamil Kosoko (US/American Chameleon)Aminata Ndow, Mohamed Bari (Black History Month Belgium) and Dulcie Usher (The Agency).

Click here to watch the trailer! And more information about the documentary can be found by clicking here.

 

The killing of George Floyd and the subsequent galvanisation of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought international attention to systemic racism. It is embedded in the structures of our society, from education to the creative industries. Achieving social and racial justice requires a commitment to long-term, substantial change.

Tavaziva is dedicated to help drive this change and will continue to speak out against persecution, corruption, and fear of surveillance that are increasingly prevalent today, through works such as Izindava and Boy’s Khaya. We are determined to encourage and support young Black talent to become great artists, producers, and entrepreneurs, fighting for equality. We know there is a lot to do and we will keep taking steps in the right direction to achieve change.

In May we launch our new online programme #DiscoverTavaziva on our Tavaziva Official YouTube Channel. The series includes TavTorials, a series of online Intermediate classes led by Artistic Director Bawren Tavaziva, film, footage and interviews.

If you’ve been watching any of the DiscoverTavaziva series, or taken our TavTorials, then we’d love to hear from you. Take 2 minutes to complete our survey, your feedback is invaluable and will contribute to the development of our work. CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY

There’s also the chance to win a Tavaziva T-shirt if completed by midday on Friday 25th – We look forward to hearing from you!

This time last year we welcomed University of Surrey placement student Adina Dumitrascu to the Tavaziva office. Adina worked with Tavaziva for 8 months as Administrative and Studio Assistant, supporting our touring, production, marketing, administration and educational programmes. Adina tells us about her experience and what she’s learnt from her time with the company in a recent interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Adina Dumitrascu and I am going into my final year of BA Dance at University of Surrey. Originally from Romania, I am a Ballroom and Latin dancer, I chose to come and study Contemporary in the UK to enrich my knowledge of dance and this industry. I am interested in performing and arts production, and enjoy choreographing and experimenting with different art forms.

What were you expecting from the Tavaziva placement experience?
I chose Tavaziva as my placement host because I was drawn to the rich and unique culture the company has built through their productions since its beginning. I expected my experience to be the same: to be able to get involved with a lot of projects and to taste the creativeness and art of the company, and especially that of Bawren Tavaziva.

What was your favourite experience during your placement?
My favourite times were always when I was able to be in the studio, and take part or simply observe Bawren’s ingenuity. It was always refreshing and overwhelming at the same time to see him move and choreograph. I also enjoyed it very much when I had the opportunity to join the Production Team for some R&D days early in the creative process for the upcoming work BOY’S KHAYA. It was amazing to see lighting, visual effects and choreography coming together on stage.

What did you find challenging?
Most of the times students don’t really know what to expect from a professional working environment and I was definitely one of them. The first few weeks I slightly felt like a fish out of water. There are lots of things going on behind the scenes in a touring company that I didn’t know of, and sometimes it was difficult to cope with the amount of work and keep a calm mind at the same time.

What have you learnt about yourself through the experience?
Sometimes I am letting myself be swept away by the work I am involved with and easily forget to actually enjoy what I am doing. I have learnt that it is important to find pleasure within your work and approach anything with a positive attitude.

What does the future hold for you?
At the moment I am co-producing Mesa, a week-long interactive, multi-arts festival that will go live from 19th-25th of October. This is as part of my journey with the Fi.ELD 2020 programme at East London Dance. The course nurtures future innovators of dance, equipping them with the skills, experience and networks to take their career ambitions from ideas to reality. I also have been selected to be one of the Artistic Directors for my university student-run dance company Actual Size this upcoming year. I am looking forward to sharing my creative vision through choreographing and putting into practice all I have learnt during my placement.

For any questions about our placements, apprenticeships and work experience opportunities email getintouch@tavazivadance.com 

Recruiting!

Tavaziva is seeking a part-time Company Manager (maternity cover, 3 days a week) starting November 2020

Tavaziva is an acclaimed company touring work by its founder and artistic director, Zimbabwean-born Bawren Tavaziva. The unique style synthesises African, ballet and contemporary dance producing dynamic, risk-taking, beautiful work.

Working in a small and busy team, the Company Manager is the first point of contact for all enquiries to the Company and is responsible for the day-to-day running of its operations and the logistics of the touring productions and planned programmes and activities.

Tavaziva is planning new works and next year will tour a new production as well as delivering a range of learning and participation programmes.

If you are a highly organised arts manager with initiative and a systematic approach to running a small and adventurous dance company, we want to hear from you.

Appointment: Part time 3 days a week maternity cover contract
Salary: £32,000 pa pro rata
Reporting to: Executive Director and Artistic Director
Line Manager: Executive Director
Holiday entitlement: 20 days per year (inc bank holidays)
Office hours: 10am-6pm. Evening and weekend work may be required at times. Overtime is not paid but discretionary TOIL is offered.
Location: bbodance, Ensign House, Battersea Reach Juniper Drive, London SW18 1TA
Details: For Job Description and further information Click here

To apply:
Please email your CV (not more than 2 pages) and a cover letter (not more than 1 page) describing your relevant experience and what you will bring to the job. Please clearly mark your application COMPANY MANAGER.
Send to: getintouch@tavazivadance.com

Closing date: 12:00 noon on Friday 18 September 2020

You will be notified by Monday 21 September 2020 if you have been selected for interview. Please note that we will only be notifying you if you are offered an interview.

Interviews: via Zoom Friday 25 September 2020

Start date of appointment: Some handover dates in November with ideal start date Monday 16 November 2020.

Tavaziva actively encourages people from a variety of backgrounds with different experiences, skills and stories to join us and influence and develop our working practice. We are particularly keen to hear from people of colour and candidates who self-identify as disabled.

Thank you to everyone that has made our #DiscoverTavaziva series such a success so far. We have shared three brilliant TavTorials with you – Bawren Tavaziva’s unique online African-contemporary dance classes, keeping you fit, focused and motivated through this uncertain time. 

We’ve produced seven extracts of work from Bawren’s impressive archive of politically-charged and energetic works, performed by our Alumni of incredibly talented dancers from over the years. And you’ve seen behind the scene’s footage of time in the studio and rehearsals, compiled by the amazing Alfred George Bailey, award winning Director and Film Maker.

We have lots more coming up, including films of full-length productions Africarmen and Izindava for you to enjoy. So keep an eye on our social media platforms to find weekly schedules of releases and links to all the new content we have prepared. Available on our YouTube channel so make sure you subscribe now, so you don’t miss a thing. Come with us and #DiscoverTavaziva


Schedule:

Fri 31 July – Africarmen1 hour

Fri 7 Aug – Izindava1 hour

Fri 14 Aug – Sensual Africa, 6 mins

Fri 21 Aug – The Orphan, 6 mins

Fri 28 Aug – Greed, 7 mins

Out now, the next instalment of our #DiscoverTavaziva series is My Friend Robert. 

This work draws on Bawren’s personal experiences and memories of growing up in the newly independent Zimbabwe, under leadership of adored Robert Mugabe. However, his visionary and promising beginning, including reconciliation and improvements to education and health care, rapidly declined into megalomania, an economic meltdown, corruption and violence. Bawren’s work offers a deeply personal comment on the challenges Africa faced.

‘This political programme showcased the company’s talents, utilising both African and contemporary techniques.’ LondonDance.com

SUBSCRIBE to Tavaziva Dance Official YouTube channel for more online classes, trailers, extracts of productions and behind the scenes short films!

Out Now! Our third TavTorial online class led by Artistic Director Bawren Tavaziva. Join in with an African and contemporary fusion class, improve your technique and increase your stamina.

Get moving and experience Bawren’s unique synthesises of Ballet, Contemporary and African dance. We hope the classes keep dancers focused and motivated.

TavTorials and the rest of our #DiscoverTavaziva series can be found on our YouTube Channel. Subscribe now so you don’t miss a thing.

We want to see you dancing! Take the TavChallenge to learn Bawren Tavaziva’s choreography, with a new piece in tribute of Steve Biko and his impact on Black freedom in the 1960s and 70s, set to a new track by composer Eugene Skeef.

Everything you need including a video of the choreography and music can be found here and our TavTorials on our YouTube channel will give you a great foundation for embodying Bawren’s style and movement. You can send us your videos to watch via Vimeo or YouTube link to getintouch@tavaziva.com by Tuesday 30 June. We look forward to seeing your contribution, and we thank you for keeping Black history moving forwards.

 

Bawren Tavaziva has collaborated with composer Eugene Skeef, who was a friend of Steve Biko a South African anti-apartheid activist at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 70s.

Bawren and Eugene wanted to take this opportunity to remember the people who fought for Black people’s freedom, particularly in light of the tragic death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, sparking unrest across the US.

Yes, we know Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Haile Selassie, Martin Luther King, but there are other people who contributed just as much to Black people’s freedom. Bawren feels that the education of 2020 needs to shift and change, so that Black History is in school’s everyday and not just during Black History Month in October and that Black Lives Matter.

Bawren has asked six professional dancers to learn his choreography, set to a new track by Eugene Skeef in tribute of Steve Biko’s impact on Black freedom and the fight that still continues.

We have put this short dance film online and asking dancers to learn the choreography, to keep Black History moving forward. You can send us your videos to watch via Vimeo or YouTube link to getintouch@tavaziva.com. Everything you need including a video of the choreography and music can be found here. We look forward to seeing your contribution to this challenge by Tuesday 30 June.