19 year old breakdancer, Kudzai Chikowe will be the first Zimbabwean to participate at the world’s biggest dance event, DanceStar’s World Dance Masters taking place in Porec, Croatia from the May 24 – 28, 2017.
The prestigious €50 000 prized event brings together about 7000 participants from more than 55 countries for competitions and seminars.
Kudzai becomes one of the 10 African finalists selected under the Breaking Down Borders initiative run by Paul Modjadji of South Africa, a former World Dance Masters’ winner and current DanceStar Ambassador for Africa who partnered with Jibilika Dance Trust for the Zimbabwean auditions.
Before emerging the national finalist, Chikowe held the best b-boy title from last Jibilika Dance Festival held in Mutare where Paul Modjadji and his team came to scout and hold workshops. He is a member of the revered 4G010 Tribe Dance Company which recently gave a stellar performance at the just ended HIFA festival with their Broken Pavement show.
Modjadji is upbeat about the Zimbabwean participant and had this to say, “ Zimbabwe was the first stop for the Dance Star Africa talent search and the country proved to be a land of great talent. Witnessing the dance culture that is bubbling in Zimbabwe was and remains a major highlight for the search. I believe the judges could not have chosen a better talent to represent the best of Africa. To see a young dancer who understands the importance of fusing African elements to international dance disciplines is important towards exposing African talent and heritage to the world.”
Jibilika’s artistic director, Blessing Fire believes the development is a validation of the work they are doing, “I think he is probably the best person at the moment to go out there and represent the country. Looking at the time he started dancing and what he is doing now, this can only be hard work and focus.”
Kudzi started dancing in 2009 – his unique dancing style combines amazing interpretations of b-boying and contemporary elements by adding the typical African flavour.
Responding to his selection, Kudzai said,” I fee very humbled to represent Zimbabwe out of all the good dancers l know. This is a great opportunity to the dancing community and I thank Jibilika for the initiative. I hope to learn more and represent my country well.”
Being aware of challenges faced by dancers on the continent, European Star Dance Union (ESDU)’s DanceStar is sponsoring the ten participants with a round airfare ticket, visa, and additional travel costs to the location, accommodation full board, registration and starting fees, packages for seminars and shows.
DanceStar attributes the move to its appreciation of the African continent as the motherland of dance, whose dancers have a unique dance expression that is one of the most beautiful parts of African heritage.
DanceStar has a 25-year long history and this year celebrates the 10th anniversary of the World Dance Masters in Croatia under the slogan; Bigger than ever! Over the week, there will be amazing performances, great awards, prizes, workshops, international dance judges and more. It offers young dancers the experience of being on stage in front of a huge multi-national audience, competing against the best in the world, promoting cultural exchange and exposing dancers to many opportunities for growth.