Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Local break-dancer Kudzanai Mcmillian Chikowe (20) is in Croatia to compete at the world’s biggest dance event Dancestar.
This comes after Chikowe impressed Dancestar Ambassador for Africa Paul Modjadji at the 2016 Jibilika dance finals held in Mutare where the latter was part of the adjudication panel.
After emerging the national finalist, he failed to attend the international competitions last year but was then given a chance to be part of the 10 African dancers who were selected under the Breaking Down Borders initiative run by Modjadji, a past World Dance Masters’ winner.
The event which started yesterday in Porec, Croatia running until May 27 is prized at €50 000 bringing together about 7000 participants from more than 55 countries for competitions and seminars.
Responding to his selection Chikowe said, “I feel 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 opportunity they are giving to dance in the country and Dancestar for recognising and supporting Zimbabwean talent. I hope to learn more and represent my country well and inspire other youths positively.”
Hailing for Kuwadzana, Chikowe started dancing in 2009. He hopes to continue dancing as a career. His unique style combines amazing interpretations of breakdance and contemporary elements while adding a Zimbabwean traditional dance flavour.
He is the country’s first and sole representative at the event.
Modjadji said he was impressed by Zimbabwean talent and is positive Chikowe will do wonders.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
DanceStar this year celebrates the 11th anniversary of the World Dance Masters. In Zimbabwe it partners with Jibilika Dance Trust for selection and coordination.
Jibilika founder Plot Mhako said Chikowe participation is a good indicator of great relationships his organisation has been cultivating over the years.
“With the representation of Zimbabwe at a huge competition like Dancestar, more doors shall be opened for other dancers. The world can no longer afford to ignore Zimbabwean talent as we open up for creative business too,” he said.