Dance champ to be unveiled

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Angel Jason also auditioned to be partof the African Team headed to Croatia

Mohalenyane Phakela

SOUTH African dance extraordinaire, Paul Modjadji, will next month announce the winner of Tuesday’s audition for the Dance Star World Masters scheduled for May 2017 in Porec, Croatia.

Modjadji held the audition at a local hotel in Maseru on Tuesday to scout for a talented Mosotho dancer who will compete at the global dance showcase pencilled for 22 to 28 May 2017.

The winner will be part of a 10-member team of dancers from Africa who will then compete at the Dance Star World Masters.

Internationally-acclaimed choreographer and dance sensation, Modjadji has entertained world leaders and international celebrities over the course of his 12-year career.

In 2011, he made history by becoming the first African dancer to win the European Dance Star World Championships in the solo jazz category. He celebrated his 10th anniversary as a professional dancer in 2015 with a tour of 10 African countries in search of 10 dance champions.

Modjadji was supposed to have visited Lesotho last December as part of his Breaking Down Borders Tour from August to December which included nine other African countries. However, the Lesotho visit had to be postponed due to unavoidable circumstances.

The tour began in Zimbabwe in August 2016 with seven other stops in Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho were not visited as scheduled.

The plan was to visit the capital city of each country, a remote town and a heritage site. Talented dancers would be selected from each country to form Team Africa which will compete at the Dance Star World Championships.

A number of local dancers showcased their moves during the audition. Some of them wanted to dance as a group, but Modjadji made it clear he wanted to see individual skill since there could only be one winner.

Nervousness and anxiety were evident in some of the contestants, who mostly consisted of males, but Modjadji allayed their fears through motivational statements.

In his remarks after the auditions, Modjadji said he was impressed with what he saw, adding that he would soon sit down with his team to select the winner since the audition had been filmed.

“The talent here is great irrespective of the style, so I cannot decide on the winner on my own,” he said.

“I will have to sit down with my South African team and other adjudicators of the Dance Star World Masters so that we make the best decision.

“We will announce the winner sometime next month. I hope it will not bring about divisions in the groups since there can only be one winner.”

Modjadji also held a workshop to teach local dancers about different styles and techniques used at international competitions. His film, Here Me Move, was also screened later in the day.

Directed by Modjadji, the film explores the world of dance in South Africa. It has won such awards as Best Score SAFTA (South African Film and Television Awards), Best Score and Best Script at the Kalasha Awards in Kenya as well as Best Editing African Academy Movie Awards (Nigeria). It has also screened at different film festivals in America and Europe.

 

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