THE OYO dance troupe has made a mark in the neighboring Botswana during the Maitisong festival which is the biggest arts festival in that country.
The festival brings together international and local artists in the disciplines of theatre, dance, poetry and comedy to fee-paying audiences in several festival venues around Gaborone.
Additionally, it brought non-stop music shows to thousands of revelers in the less privileged areas free of charge as it ran 10 days. The OYO dance troupe was selected to perform a triple bill at the festival. The dancers: Monray Garoeb, Jessica Augustus, Osyrin Puteho, Divine Naibas, Kassi Hausiku, Joe Hakapela, Sophy Janser, Sydney Farao and Jeffrey Ndjahera performed ‘Maria’, ‘the Phantom of Namibia’ and ‘Thiasus’ which are dance pieces that they have worked on for the past year. “This festival is a great opportunity”, PhillipeTalavera who is the director and choreographer at OYO noted.
“It was great to collaboration with the Maru-a-pula School of Arts. They have an amazing theatre. It is exciting to perform in this venue.”
Talavera said that in many ways Botswana takes the creative sector and the arts more seriously than Namibia.
“They invest more in artists and in art venues. They realize arts can be a source of revenue for artists and invest in arts activities such as the festival.” According to him, the festival was also a great opportunity to meet with other dancers and performers from Botswana and South Africa. During their short time in Botswana, the OYO dance troupe also had a chance to perform at the University of Botswana and meet with representatives of the local Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture as well as with Mbapeua Muvanga, High Commissioner at the High Commission of the Republic of Namibia. “It was an opportunity to expand our network and meet new people. We were only there for three days so the days were full. But we were glad we could represent Namibia.” OYO is the first, and currently only, dance troupe in Namibia employing dancers as full time performers.
The OYO dance troupe developed a unique repertoire using physical theatre and appeals to the heart rather than to the intellect. OYO has performed to over 150,000 spectators in 2017. They performed in Botswana, The United Kingdom, South Africa and Germany.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015