Jibilika dance festival preliminaries move to Mutare

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MANICALAND province will today host the annual Jibilika Dance Festival preliminary competitions at the Courtauld Theatre in Mutare.

BY ARTS REPORTER

Harare, Masvingo and Gweru have already conducted their preliminary competitions, which Dance Trust founder Plot Mhako described as successful.

“From the Harare, Masvingo and Gweru preliminary competitions, indications are that the level of competition is increasing. The dancers have improved a lot from last year and new groups have come in,” Mhako said.

“The local communities have been coming in their numbers to support us and we are looking forward to the same backing in Mutare.”

In Masvingo, Zvazvinhu Dance Crew won the competition. In Gweru, Extreme Dance Crew and Junior Fox Crew won, while Harare will be represented by Third Wave and Flying Angels Dancing Crews.

Mhako said after Mutare the search would move to Bulawayo on June 20 before returning to Harare where an additional event has been organised for the dormitory city of Chiitungwiza.

Swag turnop of Mbare perfoming at the Jibilika Dance festival held at the Book Cafe on Friday

“After realising that most dancers from Harare had not managed to participate owing to high transport costs, in a move aimed at affording every dancer a chance to showcase their talent, Jibilika will host the preliminary on June 27 at Chitungwiza Arts Centre,” Mhako said.

He said unlike in previous years when preliminaries had been held in seven provinces, this year all the country’s 10 provinces would select a single group to represent them at the national competition.

“Running under our theme Freestyle, the festival will allow young people to freely express themselves through dance, celebrating uniqueness while embracing our cultural diversity and displaying high standards of choreography and professionalism as a way of making dance entertaining, engaging and economically empowering,” he said.

Mhako said a series of workshops would be conducted during the provincial qualifiers with assistance from professionals as a way of enhancing their skills and performances.

“This year’s grand finale is set for August 22 in Bulawayo at the Amphitheatre, marking the first time that the national finals will be held outside the capital. Plans are at an advanced stage to bring in an international dance to grace the finale,” he said.

Jibilika is Zimbabwe’s premier annual youth dance festival that celebrates both urban and cultural dances in a competition format run by the Jibilika Dance Trust that was founded in 2007.