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November 2014

November 1st, Amy Biehl Foundation Benefit Gala
Accepting an invitation to perform in the 2014 Amy Biehl Foundation (ABF) benefit gala is all good and well when working with an experienced performance team and with plenty of rehearsal time. This was not the case in October when Zama was asked to do exactly that, but accepted the challenge and with pleasing results. The theme was All Things Oceanic and our music was Bali Hai from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, South Pacific. With a short rehearsal time and using just our younger students, Leanne Voysey started teaching it when the children returned from their half term school break. A beautiful piece of music, but Bali Hai is a challenge tempo wise, especially when eight of our dancers are under the age of 10 and are performing publicly for the first time. Using two of our more experienced dancers in the leading roles, Leanne finished just in time.

Performance day at Grand West was long and started with our first practice run in the morning. With so many groups performing, what happened back stage and in the wings had to be rehearsed over and over to ensure that entering and exiting the performance space was done quickly, quietly and safely. An entirely new experience for Zama’s young dancers and with so many possible distractions, but the Zama dancers remained focused as they weaved themselves on and off stage around speakers, cables, microphone stands and an eleven piece choir performing their live music. Later that day there was the Final Dress Rehearsal (FDR) followed by the performance in the evening.

Sitting in the dressing room at Grand West; Vuyokazi looks after Zama’s younger students before their performance in the 2014 Amy Biehl Foundation (ABF) benefit gala. November 1st 2014

Zama's Grade 1 students learn to stretch with their Grade 4 idol, Monica.

As all participating groups were transported in by the Amy Biehl Foundation, Zama spent the entire day with the other performers in a large holding room. Later that day was the Final Dress Rehearsal (FDR) followed by the performance in the evening. We couldn’t have been any prouder of their performance and especially knowing how tired they were. Not only did they get it right when it mattered, they did so under extreme circumstances.

Working as a team, Zama students perform Bali Hai at the 2014 Amy Biehl Foundation gala, Grand West.. November 1st 2014

November 5th Cape Town City Ballet Guest Teacher Tusile Tenza
A fabulous day was spent with Cape Town City Ballet’s Tusile Tenza as they presented their exam work and worked on it with him for the afternoon. The students love his yearly visits and we definitely see a huge difference in their exam work.

Cape Town City Ballet’s Tusile Tenza talks to Zama’s Grade 1 class after showing him their exam work

Tusile Tenza and Zama’s Grade 2 class – any pose will do

November 7th & 8th Ballet Exams
November is a busy month with an average of 100 students taking ballet exams and two end-of-year concerts on the calendar. Exams took place on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th November with guest examiner, Daniel Rajna. British born Daniel trained at The University of Cape Town Ballet School whilst completing a Bsc in applied mathematics, before joining the CAPAB Ballet Company in 1990. In 1997 he left to join PACT Ballet in Pretoria for two years before returning to the Cape Town City Ballet where he still performs as a guest artist today.

Guest examiner Daniel Rajna presents certificates to the 2014 Introductory class. All Intro students completed their one hour dance exam with 23 been selected for next year’s Grade 1 class. The remainder will repeat Intro class until they're old enough to start a more disciplined & challenging RAD Grade 1

Zama's Leanne Voysey with examiner Daniel Rajna photographed with 2014 Introductory class graduates who return next year as Grade 1's.

8th November; Joyful Grade 2 pupils after completing their ballet exams

November 28th to December 3rd Bittersweet Reloaded with the Cape Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) at Artscape.
Between students' academic exams, ballet exams at Zama and our two end of year studio performances, we were able to perform Leanne Voysey’s popular Friends and Other People on the Artscape Theatre stage as guest artists with Debbie Turner's CAPA season of, Bittersweet Reloaded. Inspired by CAPA's talented, hardworking students of the same age, Zama performed with fresh enthusiasm and pride.

Zama’s performance team warm-up at Artscape for opening night of CAPA’s Bittersweet Reloaded.

Sheila Chisholm’s Cape Times review / Bittersweet Reloaded
"Mention must also be made of the Zama dance group (Zama Dance School). The circumstances in Gugulethu are not easy yet under Andrew Warth & Leanne Voysey these kiddies are receiving sound technical grounding. And as they displayed in Voysey’s Friends and Other People, have learnt to appreciate that regularly attending rehearsals begets onstage confidence. This in turn carries through to belief in themselves in their everyday lives."
Sheila Chisholm.

December 5th & 6th End of year studio performances.
Friday the 5th and Saturday 6th, Zama presented concerts in the performance space at the school in Gugulethu. A compilation of 2014 dance highlights were performed for the schools Chairman Mr Raymond Ackerman, his wife Mrs Wendy Ackerman, the school’s Trustees Freya Griffiths, Michael Sizani & Melanie Stark.

Also present were Ackerman family members, the Ackerman Foundation staff and parents of our senior students. Once again, the Cape Town City Ballet featured as our guest dancers and performed the beautiful Act 3 pas de deux from Cinderella. Zama is hugely grateful to CTCB’s Tracy Li and Keith Mackintosh for bringing their dancers, Frieda Mennen and Daniel Szybkowski through to Zama and for their beautiful performance.

This performance, in its entirety was repeated Saturday morning for our students’ friends and families - as well as community members - and was followed by a presentation of their ballet exam certificates. It was well attended by an enthusiastic crowd of over a hundred.

December 12 – 17 Cape Junior Ballet & Exam Results
Fifteen year old Thimna Sitokisi was offered a full scholarship to Dianne Cheesman’s Cape Junior Ballet Summer Intensive at the UCT School of Dance which concluded two studio performances where Thimna was awarded a R400 gift voucher from the LSC Ballet Shop for being the dancer the faculty felt showed most promise.

RAD External Exam
We are thrilled to have Thimna Sitokisi's exam results back for his Intermediate exam. He passed with 80% giving him a Distinction.

A joyful Thimna Sitokisi received 80% & a Distinction for his RAD Intermediate Exam.

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October 2014

October 3rd, 4th & 5th Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAD) Teachers Training Course
Andrew Warth and Leanne Voysey attended a three day training course held by the Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAD) at the UCT School of Dance. The philosophy behind the RAD’s syllabus is that it provides teachers examination material which encourages and develops dancers for today’s dance world and promotes enjoyment of movement as a form of physical movement.

The course aims are to provide an overview of the new syllabi launched in 2014. To clarify the process, methodology, and development of the choreography within the work, but more importantly to keep the Zama Dance School teachers up to date with the latest teaching techniques and trends.

Zama's Andrew Warth & Leanne Voysey join RAD registered teachers from across South Africa and Namibia for a 3 day training course at UCT School of Dance

October 30th RAD Intermediate Exam
For one of our young male students, exam time came early this year when fourteen year old Thimna Sitokisi took the Royal Academy of Dance's Intermediate Exam. The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is a UK based examining board that specializes in dance education and training. It is one of the largest dance organizations in the world with over 12,000 members in 79 countries. Due to their high exam cost and obligatory exam uniform (combined, R1300 per entrant) Zama can enter just a handful of our hard working students a year. We hope to receive his results mid-December and I am confident he did well.

Zama Dance School's Thimna Sitokisi before his Intermediate exam at the UCT School of Dance

September 2014

September 1st: Zama closed due to violent Taxi strikes
Due to the violent nature of the Taxi strikes in the area, we were advised to not drive our own vehicles and the school bus in and around Gugulethu. On the 15th trouble erupted again when the bus our staff travels on was stoned by a mob of angry protesters. Zama closed both days.

September 6th: Uthando Benefit Concert
Zama was thrilled to be included in this year’s Uthando Benefit Concert held at Cape Town’s City Hall on September 6th. Our performance team had the opportunity to share a stage with gumboot dancers, choirs, comedians, hip hop groups and contemporary dancers - all of whom belong to projects sponsored by Uthando SA. ZAMA performed Adele Blank’s Uvuyo (Celebrate in Xhosa) and our performance team was extremely well received, both on and off the stage. Our students are always complimented on their outstanding behaviour wherever they go. We would like to thank James Fernie for organising this wonderful event and for the extremely generous donation he made to Zama.

Zama students with the Better Choice Dance Gumboot dancers from Khayelitsha at the Uthando Benefit Concert

September 11th: Chefs Who Share
On the 11th, we had the honour of performing at the Chefs Who Share Gala performance, one of South Africa’s most prestigious charity events. ZAMA performed alongside top South African entertainers and it was an invaluable experience for our students to witness how a slick and extremely costly event gets organized and executed. Our team performed Friends and Other People by Leanne Voysey and yet again they were incredibly well received. A few days before the Gala our children were filmed as part of the Chefs Who Share promotional video. For over two hours they danced, sang and gave the director and film crew exactly what they wanted. Our students’ maturity and dedication shines through at times like these and it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

On the red carpet after our performance at the Chefs Who Share Charity Gala

The filming of the Chefs Who share Happy video at Zama Dance School

September 8th: Security Guard Dies on Duty at Zama
It was shock for us all to hear that our long serving security guard, Stuart Mkhebe had passed away whilst on night shift at Zama. This lovely 28 year old, who was always so punctual and reliable, died of a suspected heart attack. The students wrote beautiful messages in a card which was delivered to his family along with a bunch of colourful flowers.

September 12th: Zama Performance Team watch Cape Town City Ballet Rehearsals
We were thrilled to have been invited to a rehearsal of the Cape Town City Ballet's new production Spring & Fall. Our students were once again inspired by the multi-cultural cast of professional dancers who worked so hard under the watchful eye of Hamburg Ballet's Victor Hughes.

Zama’s performance team engrossed by Cape Town City Ballet dancers in the Company studio

September 23rd: Power Out
Zama was plunged into darkness for 3 days as a grass cutting tractor from the municipality mowed over the electricity box outside the school gates. It was unfortunate that we had just been shopping for the feeding scheme and the food we couldn’t fit in our fridge at home spoilt.

September 27th: Cape Town City Ballet's, Spring & Fall
Zama was invited to a performance by the Cape Town City Ballet of Spring & Fall at Artscape Opera House. The programme of three ballets by the iconic John Neumeier of the Hamburg Ballet was accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic and was thoroughly enjoyed by the 10 lucky Zama students. The highlight for some though was the backstage pass and meeting the artists on stage.

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August 2014

August 8th: Syllabus Classes at UCT
Zama's 15 year old Thimna Sitokisi takes his RAD Intermediate ballet exam this October. Dianne Cheesman, Principle of UCT's Junior Ballet School and Cape Junior Ballet (CJB) has taken him under her wing for extra syllabus classes (once a week) until exam time. Miss Cheesman is an examiner for the RAD and was Andrew Warth's senior lecturer whilst he prepared for his teaching exams at UCT and the Royal Academy of Dance. Zama is confident that Thimna is not only in excellent teaching hands, but he's working with a new group of class mates which can only inspire him. Thimna continues to train at Zama and attends 2 classes a week at the school and one with Miss Cheesman.

August 9th: Eisteddfod Stage Rehearsals
August is TDA Eisteddfod month and it all begins with Zama's pre booked 2 hour stage rehearsal at Sea Points Civic Centre. Crucial for the group numbers for placing purposes, it also gives the youngest students a chance to dance on stage before competition day which can be extremely overwhelming for first timers.

August 15th /16th: Zama’s First Eisteddfod Days
Zama's first 2014 entries were set solo dances and began on Friday with the 12 year olds performing Pocahontas, Cabaret Time and their classical ballet solos. Saturday saw Zama's 9 year old juniors performing Tennis the Menace followed by the school's first group number, choreographed by Leanne Voysey called Sweet Hereafter. It went on to win first prize in the 'any age' group section at the FINALS. *See Eisteddfod Results lower down.

Dancer down – Cape Town City Ballet to the Rescue
With just 3 days before the first group number at the eisteddfod, Zama lost a dancer due to injury. *Student Stabbed at School. Fortunately Zama has a close relationship with the Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) who at no cost released one of their dancers to fill the space. Zama is extremely grateful to CTCB and would like to thank them and their dancer, Thom Dobronyi for making this possible.

*Student Stabbed at School
3 days before the 2014 Eisteddfod, one of our key dancers was stabbed by someone at his school. Lwazi has been part of the Zama performance team for some time is an integral part of the Zama family. This incident was very upsetting for the students and faculty. To this day we don't know the full story but Lwazi made a full and speedy recovery.

Zama dancers and Thom Dobronyi from the Cape Town City Ballet take a break during rehearsals for Leanne Voysey's Sweet Hereafter which went on to win first place in the any age group section at the 2014 TDA Eisteddfod

Zama's Tennis the Menace dancers receive 1st, 2nd & 3rd places, with Zama's 1st place winner Monica Dumakude receiving the Eye Catching Award - R250 cash & Medal

In the 11 to 12yrs of age category, Zama's Asanda Mehana (in dark blue) won 1st place and was awarded in the junior ballet section, the Most Promising Dancer Trophy.

TDA Eisteddfod Results & Awards 2014

Group Dance – Any Age Category      
Sweet Hereafter (Classical Ballet/Leanne Voysey) Honours 88.77%  
Uvuyo   (Contemporary/Adele Blank) Diploma 91.63%  
Blurred Lines (Tap/Peter Johnson) Diploma 91.08%  
Classical Set Solo - 11 to 12yrs of Age      
Asanda Mehana Diploma 92% 1st place
Amohelang Rooiland Honours 88.8% 2nd place
Set Demi Character - 9 to 10yrs of Age      
Monica Dumakude Diploma 90.83% 1st place
Zanele Lisa Honours 86.83% 2nd place
Aviwe Siwela Honours 86% 3rd place
Buntu Anta Honours 81.67%  
Lukhanyo Anta  Honours 81.67%  
Anelisa Stengile  High Merit 78.17%  
Thandeka Magwede High Merit 77%  
Set Demi Character - 11 to 12yrs of Age      
Asanda Mehana Diploma 92.33% 1st place
Amohelang Rooiland Honours 87.47%  
Tshepang Shumba Honours 85.5%  
Zikhona Papiyane High Merit 78%  

Set Demi Character - 13 to 14yrs of Age

Nonkululeko Sizani Honours 80.67% 1st place

Extra Eisteddfod Awards

Eye Catching Award
The candidate who the adjudicators felt 'caught their eye!' went to Zama Dance Schools, Monica Dumakude. She won R250 cash & a Medal.

Junior Ballet Award
Most Promising Dancer Trophy went to Zama Dance School's, Asanda Mehana
The Freda Fernandez Trophy – awarded to forward thinking teachers who continue to promote and advance dance went to Zama Dance School teachers, Leanne Voysey & Andrew Warth

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July 2014

Ballet Beautiful with Cape Town City Ballet
It was with great pride that Zama Dance School joined the Cape Town City Ballet on stage in July at Artscape for their season of Ballet Beautiful where they performed in front of 2400 audience members over a 5 performance season. As the Cape Town City Ballet turns 80 this year & Zama celebrates its 25th Anniversary, it was a particularly exciting collaboration. Zama opened the programme at all performances with our new work, Uvuyo (Celebrate) by South African doyen of contemporary dance, Adele Blank. This celebration came with the huge responsibility for our young dancers and that was to perform Uvuyo professionally and to the best of our ability every night against a professional backdrop of seasoned company dancers. We lived up to Zama's high standards and received great reviews from some of Cape Town's leading publications.

Thursday 3rd July, the Zama performance team back stage during the Final Dress Rehearsal (FDR)

Ballet Beautiful Reviews
Cape Argus 9th July/ Beverley Brommert

"While there is no want of beauty in this collage of five ballets, a more appropriate title for this production would be Ballet for All Seasons, since diversity is its salient feature.

From the bright, jazzy pas de dix of Zama's Uvuyo (Celebrate) to the classical elegance of Paquita, the audience are taken through many a change of style and mood, with no fewer than four new works to stimulate curiosity.

Of these, the first is Zama's curtain raiser choreographed by Adele Blank, who succeeds in challenging the young executants while keeping the work’s demands realistic for fledgling performers.

Their well-honed, adrenalin charged ensemble provides an engaging start to the production".
Beverley Brommert

Zama Dance School in Adele Blank's Uvuyo at Artscape, Friday 4th – 12th July

Cape Times 9th July/ Sheila Chisholm

"Ballet Beautiful is Cape Town City Ballet's third 80th birthday celebratory programme for this year. It comprises of Petipa's Paquita, Kirsten Isenberg's Of Gods and Men, Yarisha Singh's Serendipity, Robin van Wyk's The Fragile Balance and Uvuyo, Adele Blank's contemporary piece for youngsters from Gugulethu's Zama Dance School. Set to Claude Bolling and costumed in mauve and black, Blank's Uvuyo took a well-rehearsed group through a stylish contemporary piece that showcased the sound training director Andrew Warth and ballet mistress Leanne Voysey are giving these kiddies. While foot use requires additional attention, all 11 had a delightful feel for dance."
Sheila Chisholm

Zama Dance School in Adele Blank's Uvuyo at Artscape, Friday 4th – 12th July

adancersreview.worldpress.com 8th July/ Angeliki Theodorou

"The curtain-raiser performance Uvuyo is danced by one of Cape Town City Ballet's outreach partners, Zama Dance School. It is a wonderful experience for these young students to perform on a professional stage alongside Cape Town City Ballet, and the young cast performs the renowned Adele Blank's choreography with utter conviction and style, alternating between classical technique and soulful jazz motifs."
Angeliki Theodorou

Zama Dance School in Adele Blank's Uvuyo at Artscape, Friday 4th – 12th July

The Geneva Ballet 10th July
The Zama students who took part in the CTCB season were invited to a performance by the visiting company from Switzerland, The Geneva Ballet. I would best describe it as a very mature evening of contemporary dance which came out late. Leanne and I enjoyed it but I'm not sure that our younger students (9 year old Monica) coped with the long pieces of dance being presented, and fell asleep on Leanne's lap until the standing ovation at the end woke her. Leanne and I drove them home in the Zama bus dropping them off at their homes before fetching our cars at Zama and heading for our own homes.

Five Day Holiday
Zama closed for the rest of the winter school break allowing students and staff a well-deserved 5 day break before starting back on Tuesday 22nd July for the 3rd Term.

25th July Dance Africa Appeal
Friday 25th July, we welcomed a lovely lady called Pilippa to our studio who’d brought Zama bags of clothes, costumes and dance shoes from England. The dance apparel had been collected and donated to Zama by the Janice Anderson School of Dancing near Chester, UK. With the clothing came letters from the British children to our Zama students.

From the Janis Anderson School of Dancing:
Dear ZAMA DANCE SCHOOL, Please accept our donation to you from our students here at Janis Anderson School of Dancing. Today has been our last day of school and we have come together for a celebration of our year and to collect as much dance clothes to send out to you for your school we have called it THE DANCE AFRICA APPEAL! All day we have danced our socks off with African music and African Dancing which the children really enjoyed, the students who were aged from 2 – 78 created some art to send to you too. We are having a new website over the summer where the video of this day and pictures will be there for you to see.

We hope this will be the beginning of a new friendship and our Love of Dance unites us – we look forward to making this a yearly event and hope we can contact one another throughout the year! Sending this with Kindest Regards and Love
All teachers and students of Janis Anderson School of Dancing xxx

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June 2014

Rehearsals with Adele Blank
Rehearsals continued this month for Adele Blank’s new work, Uvuyo which will be performed by Zama at our season of 7 performances in July of Ballet Beautiful with the Cape Town City Ballet. Normal ballet classes were cancelled for the performance team, enabling us to work around Adele’s busy teaching schedule in Cape Town, as well as her frequent trips to Johannesburg, where she was simultaneously working with the Joberg Ballet. This arrangement worked well for us as Leanne and I needed to help our dancers with Adele’s unique and dynamic choreographic style. We are extremely grateful to Adele for donating her time and Uvuyo to Zama.

Adele Blank with Zama students, Amohelang Rooiland partnered by Lwazi Sapula at Zama Dance School

21st June Guest Teacher Hisham Omardien
We were thrilled to welcome guest teacher, Hisham Omardien who is ballet master with the BalletMet in Columbus USA to the Zama Dance School studios, where he conducted a Master Class with our students. After training at the Julia Hickman Academy of Dance in Worcester and graduating from the University of Cape Town Ballet School, Hisham danced for nine years with the Cape Town City Ballet and later with the State Theatre Ballet.

A helping hand; guest teacher Hisham Omardien with Zama Dance School's Monica Dumakude

Zama Website
The Zama website was updated this month which included two new links to the Zama Dance School YouTube channel and face book page. The face book page was originally meant as a place for the students of the school - past and present - to meet with their teachers, choreographers & friends. It now has over 300 people in the group with whom we can keep in touch with at a click of a button and share our stories.

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May 2014

After a busy April we were able to settle back into regular ballet classes and rehearsals this month with Adele Blank for our upcoming season at Artscape with the Cape Town City Ballet called Ballet Beautiful.

Legat School of Russian Ballet
I was fortunate to have been able to travel to the UK for a week during May for my former ballet school‘s (Legat School of Russian Ballet) 75th Anniversary celebrations. Over 100 former pupils gathered at Bedes – its new location outside Bournemouth for an exhibition and performance by the current students. I spent the following day at the school watching classes taught by the school’s Director Elaine Holland. Miss Holland suggested we look at sending promising young Zama students to their summer school in the future which they would sponsor.

The Royal Ballet School
During my short trip to the UK I was invited to spend the day with the teaching staff at the Royal Ballet School (upper school) in London. What an incredible experience this was to sit in a studio with some of the finest young European dancers and watch them train. I hope one day to have their incredible teacher, Paul Lewis visit us in Cape Town and work with the Zama students as a guest teacher.

Dancers for Dancers.
Zama once again joined 23 other highly respected dance institutions and artists from the CAPE TOWN CITY BALLET for this annual dance highlight which is a benefit performance for the Cape Town City Ballet. The morning of Saturday 24th was spent at Artscape rehearsing with the rest of the cast in the technical run and we returned early Sunday morning for the FDR (Final Dress Rehearsal). With the performance just a few hours away, Vuyokazi, Leanne and myself took the children to the Oude Molen Eco Village in Pinelands, where they were treated to hot chocolate and biscuits before a fun walk around the Oude Molen grounds. With time running short we made our way back to Artscape and prepared for the evening performance. It was an extremely long day for all with a 7:30 am meeting time at Zama and returned after dark. The Zama students gave one of their best performances ever, to the audiences delight. I was extremely proud of the whole team of dancers and staff.

Backstage at Artscape, Sunday 25th May. Leanne warms the Zama dancers up.

In the dressing room, the Zama dancers prepare for their Performance of Friends and Other People

Zama Dancers at Oude Molen
Sunday 25th May. The Zama dancers and staff at the Oude Molen Eco Village coffee shop enjoy a hot chocolate before returning to Artscape for their performance of Friends and Other People.

Dear Andrew, Leanne and the ZAMA dancers
Your constant support and encouragement and your genuine kindness will always be remembered. Thank you for the time you took to prepare your beautiful dancers, thank you for the pleasure of having them perform and most important of all, thank you for the privilege of your friendship.

Our beautiful profession stays in integrity whilst there are teachers of your calibre to role model; dignified, dedicated, positive and passionate.

You are indeed
Inspired by you
Di, Jan, Dee

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April 2014

Holiday Classes
Classes and rehearsals continued during the school holidays as the performance team had to be ready for our performance with the Cape Philharmonic at Artscape.  These were primarily for the performance team although all were welcome and the studio quickly filled up.

TDA Eisteddfod Repertoire Recording
Both Leanne and Andrew were asked to choreograph new ‘set solos’ for the 2014 TDA Eisteddfod being held in August.  Andrew choreographed a classical ballet solo and Leanne a Demi Character.  They were then filmed at Reddam School on 12th April along with all the other teachers’ new solos. The new DVD for all Eisteddfod participants can be purchased soon.

Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Collaborative Performance
Zama’s performance team and a handful of Zama student-helpers spent the day at Artscape where they performed with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO).  Zama had been invited to perform The Swan from the Carnival of Animals by Laurika Steenkamp, the CPO’s Outreach and Education Manager when we shared a table with her at the Cultural Affairs Awards earlier this year. The helpers help set up a Zama information board in the foyer and later handed out Zama flyers to the audience as they arrived.

Zama in Seapoint
Between performances with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.
Zama students go for a walk along the Sea Point promenade.

Adele Blank’s Rehearsals Start
We feel extremely privileged to have the South African doyen of contemporary dance Adele Blank in the Zama studio for next few months. ‘Uvuyo’ will be performed by the Zama students as a curtain raiser at all Cape Town City Ballet performances during their Ballet Beautiful season in July at Artscape. Uvuyo, originally called Collaboration was created for the Free Flight Dance Company and performed at the Wits Theatre in Johannesburg. The first movement renamed Uvuyo (‘Celebrate’ in Xhosa) has been reworked for the students of the Zama Dance School in Gugulethu as part of the school’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

Adele Blank
Adele Blank is not only known for her cutting edge work, but also for her tireless dedication to the development of South African artistes who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to train formally in dance. Today hundreds of dancers work professionally locally and abroad as a result of Adele’s commitment, encouragement and love of dance.

Waterfront Theatre School Choreographic Competition
It was an honour to be invited back to the Waterfront Theatre School (WTS) this year to judge their choreographic completion. Along with fellow judges, Didi Moses and Fran Hill we were treated to two full programmes of dance as well as an awards evening.  I was extremely proud to see Zama Dance School graduate Sonia Yabo, now a second year student at WTS dance beautifully in two of the pieces.

March 2014

The British Embassy
Zama Dance School performed for the British High Commissioner, Judith Macgregor at a reception organised by the Cape Town City Ballet’s Keith Mackintosh.

This prestigious occasion held in the grounds of the British High Commissioner’s residence in Bishopscourt was in honour of guest stars, Federico Bonelli and Hikaru Kobayashi from the Royal Ballet, London and in support of the Cape Town City Ballet’s 80th anniversary year. Federico Bonelli and Hikaru Kobayashi from the Royal Ballet will dance the lead roles in the company’s forthcoming season of Swan Lake at Artscape Opera House in April. In attendance was the Cape Town City Ballet’s Patron, recently returned SA Ambassador to Bulgaria, Sheila Camerer as well as Zama Dance School’s Chairman Mr Raymond Ackerman and his wife Wendy Ackerman.

British High Commissioners residence
Before the performance at the British High Commissioner’s residence.
Dancers from the Cape Town City Ballet and Zama Dance School students
Lwazi Saphula, Thimna Sitokisi and Chuma Nkumanda.

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Mr Ackerman’s Birthday Party
Zama was thrilled to be invited as the guest performers for Raymond Ackerman’s birthday celebrations held at Pick n Pay headquarters in Kenilworth on the 10th March. The surprise performance was organised by his daughter Suzanne Ackerman and was attended by 1000 Pick n Pay employees as well as new British CEO to Pick n Pay Richard Brasher. Leanne Voysey’s popular Friends and Other People was received with great enthusiasm by the crowd.

Happy birthday Mr Ackerman
Mr Ackerman is wished a happy birthday by Zama dancers on the
10th of March at Pick n Pay headquarters Kenilworth. Looking on is
British CEO to Pick n Pay Richard Brasher.

Open Day at the Cape Town City Ballet
The Cape Town City Ballet’s annual Open Day took place on Saturday 29 March from 10 - 3pm at the studios of the UCT School of Dance, Rondebosch. This action packed day is a highlight on the ballet calendar and provides excellent entertainment for the whole family and gives a behind the scenes glimpse into the daily life of a dancer.

OPEN DAY, organized by the Cape Town City Ballet’s Keith Mackintosh also showcased the UCT School of Dance and the Cape Junior Ballet (CJB). This year for the time, Zama Dance School was invited to showcase the training of a young township dancer from baby to mature student in an hour long lecture demonstration conducted by Leanne Voysey, Andrew Warth and 30 Zama students. Zama went on to perform Emma Jordan’s Bad Things at 2 fundraising performances held in the ballet company studio in front of full houses. Proceeds from Open Day support Cape Town City Ballet’s Outreach & Development Programs which Zama is a beneficiary of.

Sinethemba Tafeni and  Hlumelo Ntshangana
Zama Dance School students Sinethemba Tafeni and Hlumelo Ntshangana back stage with Cape Town City Ballet dancers Conrad Nusser and Jane Fidler on Open Day 29th March.

February 2014

Andrew Warth and Leann Voysey
Zama Dance School Director Andrew Warth with the schools Ballet Teacher Leanne Voysey at the prestigious cultural awards ceremony hosted by Minister, Dr Ivan Meyer from the Western Cape Government.

Zama’s Contribution to the Performing Arts in the Townships Recognised
Serendipity must be congratulated for starting 2014 on such a high note for Zama Dance School. Not only is it celebrating its 25th birthday this year, but the school received a Cultural Affairs award from the Western Cape Government.
Hard work and drive came together on Monday 10th February, when the school, it’s Director and ballet teacher, Leanne Voysey, were awarded the prestigious cultural award at a ceremony hosted by Minister Dr Ivan Meyer from the Western Cape Government. This award was received for Zama Dance School’s Contribution to the Performing Arts: Dance in the Western Cape and acknowledges work done in the artistic arena to uplift the people of the communities within the Western Cape.

Zama Classes Start and into LEAP Workshop
Three highly acclaimed professional dancers from the United States visited Zama daily where they taught ballet classes, repertoire and choreography for over 60 of our young dance students. 
The three American dancers are of a group of six who are working similarly at other institutions in South Africa (Dance for All & The Cape Academy of Performing Arts) and had all enrolled in the LEAP Programme (Liberal Education for the Arts Professionals) – a BA Degree course offered at Saint Mary’s College in San Francisco, California. Their hard work came together on Friday 14th when Zama hosted and presented what had been learnt in a studio concert titled, For the Love of Dance which was attended by over 300 guests, mostly families and friends of the students in the overwhelming afternoon heat. Students from Dance for All the Cape Academy of Performing Arts also took part in this performance which was once again presented at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) in Tokai the following day

Cristobal Marquez
Cristobal Marquez from LEAP engulfed by Zama dance School juniors during rehearsal

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