Hout Bay performing arts school Amoyo blew the audience away with their dance production at the Artscape Theatre Centre’s 2017 Schools Arts Festival last month.
Amoyo performed three pieces, giving as many students as possible the life-changing experience of performing in a professional theatre in front of thousands of people.
“We are still considered a new organisation, and it has taken us two and a half years to get our solid foundation in place and to really ingrain our philosophy, ethos, mission and vision into both our beneficiaries and their families,” said chief executive officer and co-founder Kim Worrall.
“It was such an honor to be selected for the gala event and to hear that one of our pieces, Stamina, choreographed by Mandisa Qwesha, had been considered the most powerful dance piece of the festival,” said Ms Worrall.
Stamina, a fusion of performance art and contemporary dance, featured dancers from their core, teen and senior groups.
They also performed a contemporary dance piece called Rainbow Love, which was choreographed by Nandipha Sandlana, with introductory poem written and performed by Andile Mduli, a senior drama student, and danced by members from their core group.
Their third offering was performed to Look Into The Mirror, a song composed, played and sung by Ms Worrall, with choreography by Ms Sandlana and performed by Renecia Dama and Dineo Dama both from the core group.
“We informed that our piece Stamina, was considered the most powerful dance piece. It was not a competition but we received a trophy of participation and acknowledgement that we performed in the gala show,” she said.
Seventeen-year-old core class student at Amoyo, Renecia said “I’ve been at Amoyo for six months now ,but it feels like I was born into it because of how close we got.”
The Grade 10 Hout Bay High pupil added: “Performing for such a huge audience in Artscape was amazing. I was nervous at first but when I got onto that stage I felt home… like I belonged. I felt free and super – like no one could stop me.”
Ongeziwe Jako 14, who has been with Amoyo for two years said the performing school had helped her a lot, not just with dancing but with her family relations too.
“I joined Amoyo because I’m passionate about performing arts and I wanted guidance in life just the way it does. Performing at Artscape was a wonderful experience. It made me proud of myself and I saw the growth in me,” she said.
Eleven-year-old Grade 6 pupil at Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School, Lindokuhle Ncube said she had been dancing for four years, but joined the school two year ago.
“Dancing in front of a huge crowd made me nervous, (but) I also think that it made me feel more confident about my dancing and myself,” she said.