Dance festival to feature performers from diverse backgrounds

Body Moves picks up the pace once more to highlight cross-cultural interactions and teamwork. Picture: Supplied

Body Moves picks up the pace once more to highlight cross-cultural interactions and teamwork. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 18, 2023


After the resounding success of its inaugural edition, dancers from all over the world are anticipated to converge in celebration of the thrilling return of the Body Moves International Inclusive Dance Festival.

The festival promises an unrivaled selection of workshops led by renowned local and international facilitators, a live-streamed conversation, and stunning afternoon performances in the context of Disability Awareness Month.

The Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni will host this festival, which helps dancers with and without disabilities, from November 20 to 26, 2023.

Body Moves picks up the pace once more to highlight cross-cultural interactions and teamwork.

The festival embodies the spirit of unity and diversity, with participating companies hailing from South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Ireland, and Flanders.

Speaking about the festival's significance following its success, Caryn Green of the Sibikwa Arts Centre emphasises that it serves as a platform to celebrate the integrated space.

“This is the second year that we are running the festival; last year was the launch of it. It really is a platform for different types of bodies to be in the same professional space.

“So it is a dance festival, and we have dancers that are coming from Europe and Africa, some with disabilities and some without disabilities. And just celebrate this integrated space. I think we are at the start of the advocacy around the main-streaming of disabilities,” Green says.

“I hope we get to a point where we don't have to call it an inclusive festival because people with differences should be included naturally.”

Green speaks about the response to the first edition, detailing how heartwarming it was, not only for dancers but also for attendees who got to anticipate the celebration of dance in its inclusive and purest form.

Guests who attend are not only watching performances; they are also supporting artists, contributing to the greater good, and becoming a part of a growing community.

• Workshops: From a sign workshop with the talented deaf dancer, Andile Vellem of Unmute, to Ondiege Mathew's exploration of choreography through improvisation, Fanny Vandesande's deep dive into the lived experiences of people with disabilities, a satellite workshop at Moving Into Dance in Newtown, and more.

• Performances: Featuring works such as "Chosen", highlighting the plight of a village through the eyes of a visually impaired dancer; and "TWOTFAM", a thought-provoking piece that brings to the forefront the overlooked challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.

• Live-Streamed Discussion: To be hosted in partnership with ADDN at Sibikwa and on the Sibikwa Arts Centre Facebook page at 18:00 on November 23, it promises engaging conversations inspired by the impactful short films made by panellists Nadine McKenzie (SA), Adriaan Luteijn (Netherlands), and Joseph Tebandeke (Uganda).

Supported by the General Representation of the government of Flanders, Embassy of Ireland, Department of Sport, Arts & Culture, Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation, and Federation of Gauteng Community Arts, the festival is more than just an event; it's a celebration of local and international talent, a nod to cultural vibrancy, and a testament to the belief that arts and dance know no bounds.

Saturday Star

[email protected]