Dance as classroom

2015-07-14 06:00
Andile Ndlovu as Amari and Michaela Griffin as Fayola in A Spartacus of Africa. 

Bill Zurich

Andile Ndlovu as Amari and Michaela Griffin as Fayola in A Spartacus of Africa. PHOTO: Bill Zurich

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The ballet A Spartacus of Africa has turned the theatre into a classroom for over 2000 pupils from urban and rural schools in the city.

The Cape Town education-focused programme, which took place in June at the Artscape Theatre, saw pupils from previously disadvantaged areas enter the world of dance theatre to receive a visual learning experience.

Local schools involved in the project included Battswood Arts Centre, Red River Primary School, Tafelsig Secondary, Fairmount, Wynberg Girls’ High, Wynberg, Norman Henshilwood, South Peninsula and Beacon Hill high schools.

Students participated in a question and answer session with Spartacus leadrole dancers, Andile Ndlovu, a South African who has been with the Washington Ballet for six years, and Michaela Griffin.

Prior to watching the production they viewed a ten-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, giving them an overview of the origins and evolution of the re-choreographed production by Veronica Paeper. The video also showed them various professional opportunities available in the arts and related production industries.

The dancers were accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

This visual learning experience also gave teachers the opportunity to witness the benefits of the educational excursion.

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