Africarmen, created in 2015, is set in an African township where military corruption is rife, Carmen dangerously and defiantly ignores all warnings in the pursuit for a better life. Played out through the entanglement of desire, deceit and corruption, tragedy follows Carmen like a shadow in hot sun.

Through a synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance, Bawren Tavaziva’s interpretation of the Carmen story is strikingly powerful, sensual and beautifully performed by six stunning dancers.  The specially commissioned original soundtrack was composed and arranged by Fayyaz Virji.

From the start, Tavaziva’s powerful, fast-paced choreography – a distinct fusion of contemporary and African dance – leads the way. As the dancers fly across the stage they barely pause for breath, their movement at one with the rhythms of the music – a new composition by Fayyaz Virji of Worriors International.

The Stage 

Click here to download the Africarmen programme.


Lisa Rowley

Izindava Cast

Originally from Leicester, Lisa trained at the Dupont School. She then trained at Laban graduating in 2008. Since then she has toured internationally with Transitions Dance Company. Lisa then went on to work with Henri Oguike Dance Company. Following this Lisa joined ACE Dance and Music with choreography by Andile Sotiya and Douglas Thorpe.

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 was our Rehearsal Assistant in 2018.

Carmine De Amicis

Carmine was born in Italy and trained in Ballroom and Latin American. In 2009 he received the award for best Latin American Dancer category. He trained in Ballet and Contemporary dance at the Italian National Academy of Dance in Rome. Whilst in Rome, he worked with Matteo D’Alessio, Salvator Spagnolo and Laura Di Biagio. He graduated with a BA in foreign languages with a specialisation in dance history and then moved to the UK to join the postgraduate dance company MAPDANCE (University of Chichester). In 2014 he performed internationally with pieces by Kerry Nicholls, Gary Clarke, Yael Flexer, and Liz Aggiss. He worked for Chantry Dance Company (UK), Grange Park Opera and recently started an experimental project on hybrid partnering dance forms with Harriet Waghorn. Carmine joined Tavaziva in 2014.

Jordan Bridge

Born in Manchester, Jordan was introduced to dance at 15, after his completion of BTEC & A Level Dance at Pendleton
College. Jordan went on to train at London Contemporary Dance School graduating in July 2014 with a First Class BA Hons in Contemporary Dance. Jordan has performed works by Alexander Whitley, Kerry Nicholls, Tony Adigun, Richard Alston, Delphine Gaborite, Jenna Lee, Hubert Essakow to name but a few. After graduating, Jordan joined Alexander Whitley Dance Company where he performed nationally and internationally. Jordan joined Tavaziva in July 2015.

Theo Samsworth

Theo graduated from Trinity Laban with First Class Honours in 2013, where he worked with choreographers including Lea Anderson, Charlotte Darbyshire and Bernadette Iglich. On completing his BA(Hons) in Contemporary Dance Theo joined Tavaziva Dance, as part of his postgraduate studies at London Contemporary Dance School. He was then invited to tour with EDge, the postgraduate company at LCDS performing works by Yael Flexer and Ben Wright, as well as a new commission by Mariana Tengner Barros. Theo went on to complete his Masters degree with Distinction at London Contemporary Dance School before performing in ‘Król Roger’ at the Royal Opera House, choreographed by Cathy Marston and directed by Kasper Holten. Theo has also worked with other choreographers including Theo Clinkard, James Cousins and Adam Rutherford. Theo joined Tavaziva as a company member in 2014.

Anna Watkins

Anna trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. She has worked as a dancer with European Ballet, Neville Campbell, Pair Dance, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Maxwell Dance Project, and ‘Dance in Focus’- for their world Premiere UK tour of ‘Broken’ in 2015 . Anna formed her own dance company Watkins Dance Company, in 2011. She was awarded funding from Arts Council England for her production ‘Angled Eye’. In 2014–2015 Anna was commissioned to choreograph for Third Row Dance Company, New College Youth Dance Company, Suffolk Youth Company, English National Ballet Youth Company and LSC Expressive Arts. She was appointed a role on the CAT teaching faculty at Dance City, Newcastle. Anna was Rehearsal Assistant for Tavaziva 2009 – 2010, and is Project Manager for Tavaziva Male. Anna joined Tavaziva in 2007.

Ellen Yilma

Ellen graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in July 2011, having previously trained at Tring Park, School for the Performing Arts. Ellen joined Tavaziva as an apprentice dancer, part of the Postgraduate Apprenticeship Scheme at LCDS. She has toured with Watkins Dance since June 2012, and in spring 2013 took part in the Barbican Exhibition ‘dancing around Duchamp season’, performing Merce Cunningham repertoire. Ellen has also worked with IJAD Dance Company on ‘Infinite-Space’, and with Second Hand Dance in developing ‘Getting Dressed’. In November 2014 she completed her MA in Contemporary Dance with Distinction and has become a contemporary dance teacher for Tring Park Associates. She is a workshop leader for Tavaziva’s extensive education programme. Ellen joined Tavaziva as a company member in September 2012.

Amelia Coates

Amelia trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, graduating in July 2015. During her training she worked alongside Robert Cohan and performed the renowned piece ‘Stabat Mater’ at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells and Linbury studio Theatre, Royal Opera House. She has previously worked with Tammy Mclorg and Adrienne Hart. Amelia joined Tavaziva as an Apprentice and Understudy in July 2015 for their new production Africarmen.

Creative Team

Artistic Direction and Choreography

Bawren Tavaziva


Fayyaz Virji of Warriors International

Writer and Dramaturgy

Chris Fogg

Creative Advisor

Neville Campbell

Rehearsal Director

Joanne Bernard

Lighting Design

Sherry Coenen

Set Design

Joseph Bisat Marshall

Costume Design

Ben Voorhaar & Sabrina Zyla


Beth Cinamon