Iyasa out to revive reputation
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"Iyasa has over the years been perceived 'boring' by many people because they thought our dance techniques had become routine. This is because it takes time for people to get accustomed to something new. We want to introduce new features to our acts but it takes time," explained the director of the school of arts, Nkululeko Dube.
He also said 2013 would be a year of reckoning, where Iyasa would take the arts industry to the "next" level.
"We are working towards reaching the next level. We are spicing our local content. As time goes on our dance styles will change but it will take time because of the market. We have already begun training our artists musically and in theatre," said Dube.
He also noted that they were working on local recordings, where they seek to collaborate with local and foreign artists.
"We have already identified artists whom we wish to work with in our projects for this year. We are broadening our style. What we do when we are abroad is different from what we do when we are here. We want to introduce new routines to people," he said.
Dube stated that they not only wanted to rekindle Zimbabwe but wanted to penetrate the world.
"We have already done a number of projects with many artistes. We have worked with Austrians where we did two projects, No chicken in the bus and the One world project, which saw a major collaboration with Zimbabwean groups, Congo and Austria. Presently we have engaged Albert Nyathi on a project where we want to revive his poetic music," he said.
At the present moment there are eight artistes from Austria who are rehearsing for a video production of a musical play titled Streets of Africa, a production by Iyasa.
Dube said the collaboration was inspired by a tremendous request for the play in Europe to record a video for it.
"There was or rather is a high demand for this video in Europe. They (Europeans) want to have a firsthand experience of Zimbabwe. They want to know what egodini is all about; they want to have a feel of our past experiences, where Visas were "processed in the streets. They want to know about omalayitsha," he said.
Dube also said they were working on a production which involved two countries, Zimbabwe and Austria. The production is titled As long as we are together (Identity).
"This production explores issues of identity. In Europe most white people want to associate with being black, while that is the same for some Africans. The shooting of the video will begin in Bulawayo and end in Austria. We performed this story in Europe last year and it was big," he said.
Streets of Africa is a musical that showcases the high rate of migration that occurred in Zimbabwe in the past few decades as people migrated from rural villages to local cities, then progressed to neighbouring countries such as South Africa with some finally settling abroad.
"This is a story of a young man who loses his lover when she moves away from the village to the city of Bulawayo. He follows her and finds that she has moved to South Africa. The young man follows her to South Africa and discovers that she has moved to Austria," he said.
Dube also mentioned that in February they would start a collaboration project with the group, Rainbow Blaze and other artistes for a tour of Sweden.
"We are yet to finalise the logistics but are definitely working on it. The tour will last about three months. During the same month Isiphiwo Sami talent search roars to life in various high schools. The talent search competition is in partnership. This will be the fourth edition of the competition and registration is already in progress.
"Between 7 and 8 February there will be a huge workshop, which will attract key stakeholders in the arts industry," he added.
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