Chatsva (Explosion)

Chatsva, meaning explosion, was created in 2007. The work presents the dancers in continually changing and contrasting moods. From light-hearted, exuberant contest (Makwikwi) and the determination of the persecuted to affirm identity and belief (Pachedu), to a powerful new solo (Mr Man) inspired by the poet Samuel Coleridge’s impassioned public outburst against the evils of slavery.


This work is based on the company dancers who each have different training and cultures. Taking advantage of this unique situation, Bawren created a vibrant, energetic, light-hearted, humorous piece that shows off the dancers’ own unique personalities and backgrounds. Makwikwi translates as ‘test’ or ‘contest’ in Shona language so the performance has competitive elements.


When people are persecuted in today’s society, they band together, become more patriotic, and gain solidarity in their ideas and beliefs. This piece presents the strengths in the unity of a group of people who will not be separated. Through this, ‘Pachedu’ identifies how someone may underestimate the power of others’ beliefs. This work vocalises: ‘Don’t tell me what you think I should do, or how I should behave. Don’t put your own beliefs on me. I know who I am’.

Mr Man

This touching solo, with live singing by Samson Felo, was danced by different company members at each performance. Exploring the abolition of slavery and new-found freedom, Mr Man was commissioned by Take Art to mark the bicentenary of the 1807 Slave Trade Abolition Act. Inspired by the Somerset-based Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s uplifting address against slavery, delivered in a small Somerset chapel, Mr Man challenges audiences to reflect on the real notion of freedom.

Last Word

Choreographed by Thea Narissa Barnes.

Creative Team


Anna Watkins
Amanda Lewis
Nicholas Watson
Lerato Lipere
Shelly-Ann Maxwell
Samson Felo
Xenoula Eleftheriades

Artistic Direction and Choreography

Bawren Tavaziva

Guest Choreographer (Last Word)

Thea Narissa Barnes


Bawren Tavaziva

Guest Composer 

Philip Flood

Music Collaborator

Sophie Rivlin

Rehearsal Director

Natalie Aldridge

Production Manager

Chris Copland

Lighting Design

Jonathon Samuels

Costume design

Abigail Hammond