Tribhangi Dance. Picture: John Hogg

Tribhangi Dance Theatre will join the Washington-based Dakshina/ Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company tonight and tomorrow night for classical-inspired contemporary dance at the UJ Youth Arts Festival.

Founded 30 years ago by Jayesperi Moopen, Tribhangi Dance Theatre has brought a combination of Indian, contemporary, African and Afro-fusion dance to local and international stages. 

Choreographed by Moopen, Tribhangi Dance Theatre will present their new work Pancha Bhutha, inspired by the five elements of nature. 

Moopen said their aim was to create environmental awareness in the effort to save the planet.

“Our piece is aimed at creating awareness around environmental issues. As performers, we still want to keep the entertainment value while tackling these serious issues, so I decided to work on the five elements water, earth, wind, air and fire because they affect our lives whether we are aware of it or not," says Moopen.

Tribhangi Dance. Picture: John Hogg

“Sometimes we do dance and art for art's sake, it's not enough, we need to make a significant difference in whatever we do. As choreographers, the onus is on us to make that change that we want to see in the world."

On what can be expected from the show, Moopen said: “People shouldn't come with expectation, but they are going to be blown away by the magic of dance.

"We're also saying we need to not take the planet for granted, it sustains us. In a very light-hearted manner we're trying to make people aware of the important stuff that we sometimes take for granted.”

Tribhangi Dance Theatre has performing in Mauritius, Lesotho, Botswana, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Asked how they were received, she said: “The work that we do is unique, it's speaking to the intercultural dialogue, we have people from different cultures and speak many languages through dance. 

Tribhangi Dance. Picture: John Hogg

"While we celebrate South Africa, we celebrate the multiculturalism of South Africa. I think that's what people like to see, that's what resonates with people overseas when they watch the performance. 

"We have a lot to celebrate in South Africa and that's what we do through dance, hence we find a lot of invitations globally.

"As South Africans, we need to work towards interculturalism, social cohesion, that's what the work is about.”

Tickets can be purchased on here or at the door. Prices range from R30 (students) and R80 for public.

Friday's performance starts at 7:30pm. On Saturday, the show starts at 3pm.