Mercy by Foteini Christofilopoulou

Tavaziva Dance is delighted to welcome Mercy Nabirye FRSA, FWL as our new Chair of Trustees from April 2021.

Mercy takes over from Marie McCluskey MBE who has been an instrumental supporter of the Company and Bawren Tavaziva since the beginning of his career and we are delighted Marie will continue her support as a Trustee.

Mercy Nabirye is Founder and Director of Kauma Arts which is dedicated to supporting and connecting talent across diasporas rooted in Africa. Until recently she was Head of Dance of the African Diaspora (DAD) at One Dance UK producing programmes such as Re:generations International conference and the Trailblazers Fellowship for professional development, enriching our future dance leaders and our industry.

Her advocacy work is driven by a passion for change on a national and international scale and her combined knowledge and experience as a strategic manager and former performing artist, choreographer, producer and writer for stage and screen, makes her an outstanding leader and visionary.

Mercy has been a valued Trustee since 2017 and Deputy Chair since 2020 and we all look forward to the next stage of Tavaziva’s creative story under her leadership.

“As one of the original Trailblazers, I know how valuable having someone’s support and recognition is, and in my heart and soul, it is a great honour to be working with Mercy as the Chair of Tavaziva Dance.”

– Bawren Tavaziva

Tavaziva is reaching out to inspire you to keep moving as we dive into winter. Bawren will be leading a series of online Technique classes via Zoom that aim to maintain your technique, challenge your mind, nurture your body, and develop a better understanding of Bawren’s unique African, Contemporary and Ballet dance fusion.

Each hour long class will be charged at £5 and will take place on the following dates and times:

  • Monday 16th November: 11am – 12pm
  • Monday 23rd November: 11am – 12pm

Click Here to book now!

As part of Wandsworth Council’s Black History Month 2020 programme, Mercy Nabirye talks to Bawren Tavaziva about growing up in Zimbabwe, his early dance career and his influences. The conversation explores Bawren’s move to the UK to pursue his dream of joining Phoenix Dance Theatre, setting up his own dance company and why he feels so passionately about translating the political and social injustices facing many Zimbabweans through his productions and educational programme.

Including an extract from his 2006 duet Mandla, and a recent short film created in tribute to Steve Biko, a South African anti-apartheid activist who fought for Black people’s freedom, Bawren shares his motivation to educate his audiences on Black History and the important figures that have inspired him along the way.

Click here to watch the film!

Click here to read a recent interview with Bawren Tavaziva by Royal Academy of Dance. We teamed up with RAD and Caius House Youth Centre to deliver a 2 year project Journeying Between and we continue to explore projects together for the future – watch this space.

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