Margaret Matibiri Herald Correspondent
The South Korean ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Cho Jai Chel on Wednesday honoured dancer and Performing Arts educator Victor Peturo who was in his country for a five-month dance exchange programme from July to November. Peturo is 25 years old.
Ambassador Cho facilitated Peturo’s journey to the dance exchange programme, which saw many professional dancers from around the world coming together to celebrate dance as part of a cultural exchange programme.
“Peturo was chosen by Ms Soukaina Edom, the Director of Afrikera Dance Ensemble to represent Zimbabwe at the Cultural Partnership Initiative in South Korea because of his great zeal, creativity and passion for dance,” he said.
“I believe culture is the bridge that binds people from different countries together and we expect him to be that friendly bridge between our two countries. Victor has promised to incorporate all he learnt in his dances and also teach other dancers in the country about the Korean culture and also the culture of other dancers he met during his stay in Korea.”
Peturo said he went through a life-changing experience during his stay in a country where arts and culture are well respected, and he is proud that he got to share the Zimbabwean and African culture through dance.
“My stay in Korea was life changing and I’m happy that I managed to incorporate all my childhood experiences and games in a dance performance we had in South Korea. I was very humbled by the reception we received, the media publicity was astounding and also during my stay I got to meet the president of South Korea Mr Moon Jae-in and this goes to show how far art is esteemed in the country,” he said.
“I got a chance to perform with other four guys from Colombia, Indonesia, Latin America and Korea, and in that performance I made use of my African childhood games and dance moves together with those of others to come up with one piece named ‘Randomly one’.”
Peturo received an achievement award from the Seoul International Dance Festival, which is recognised internationally. He said he also got to present his own solo dance performance titled ‘CHANGE “change changed me”’ at three international dance festivals — Sejong International Dance Festival, Deajong International Dance Festival and his was the closing act at SIDacne International Dance Festival.
His solo presentation has a fusion of African and contemporary dances, which tell his story of how he was transformed from being a boy into a man.