Artist director for Jazzart Sifiso Kweyama says the dance company's ability to tell topical stories and amplify the voice of the youth is what sets them apart.
Our productions are telling the stories of what is happening [in society].— Sifiso Kweyama, Artist director for Jazzart
He’s recently been honored with an invitation to teach and perform at a prestigious American dance festival later this year.
Kweyama grew up in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and was first exposed to dance through the Phenduka Dance Theatre back in 1989, which opened his mind to new forms of intimacy and human expression.
The Phenduka Dance Theatre introduced me to the life of stage, of dancing.— Sifiso Kweyama, Artist director for Jazzart
His dance journey saw him work between Phenduka and Jazzart over the years, before spending 15 years in Johannesburg to teach and choreograph at various dance companies.
In April 2015, Kweyama would return to Jazzart as the artist director.
He reflects on the journey of Jazzart (founded in 1973), their school programme's and community outreach and struggles for funding.
Kweyama says that children need to be exposed to dance and theatre culture at a young age, in order to keep interest and investment in the arts alive.
He lamented the lack of dance awareness in schools and absence of information about career opportunities in the field.
Take a listen to his inspirational story and plans for an international teaching collaboration this year: