Wednesday, 08 June 2016 12:30

Rolex honours SA dancer

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Londiwe Khoza in performance Londiwe Khoza in performance Pictures by Pat Bromilow-Downing

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, launched in 2002, has honoured several South Africans as both mentors and protégés. The latest addition to the honour roll for 2016-17 is Londiwe Khoza, whose talent has secured her a year of intense one-on-one collaboration with Israeli Ohad Naharin who will mentor her in the category of dance.

 Two young South Africans have been selected as protégés in previous years: Lara Foot, who is currently the director and CEO of the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town and Nicholas Hlobo who is a renowned sculptor with several international exhibitions under his belt. William Kentridge was also selected as a mentor in 2012 and joined the hallowed ranks of Wole Soyinka, David Hockney, Martin Scorsese, Peter Sellars and many others

The Jozi media were flown down to Cape Town recently to meet Londiwe and congratulate her, and were joined by the Cape media such as The Sunday Times' Lin Sampson and members of the arts fraternity such as Brendon Bell-Roberts from Bell-Roberts Contemporary Art Gallery who also publishes Art Africa, as well as representatives of Rolex and Londiwe's at-home mentor, artistic director Debbie Turner.

The event was held at The Vineyard Hotel, one of Newlands's most historical and charming heritage hotels, which was originally the home of Lady Anne Bernard. The hotel is filled with sketches of life in the Cape in the early 19th century from the talented pen and brush of Lady Anne herself and in the gardens which she planted herself laughter rings out and cutlery clatters as sunglassed lunchers soak up the noonday sunshine.

Meeting Londiwe was a treat - she is thrilled by the honour bestowed upon her and looks forward to her year in Israel. How's her Hebrew, was my first question, and found that "Shalom" was one of her first useful phrases but a fellow dancer is helping her to brush up in that department!

Londiwe has been recognised over the past five years for her exceptional talent in neoclassical and contemporary dance, as well as her dramatic skills, says Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex.

Londiwe is a soloist at the Cape Dance Company and also studies at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts. She recently performed with the Joburg Ballet and has performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival as well as in Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty and The Firebird.. Guests at the cocktail party viewed her performances at the festival on screen and can look forward to more with the Cape Dance Company when she performs at the Festival in A Thousand Shepherds on July 2 and 3.

"I want to be the kind of artist that changes people's lives. Whether I can inspire, motivate, be a role model or bring joy, I want to know that I at least changed one person's life.

"This opportunity will not only help me develop personally as an artist but it will give me the tools needed to step into the world. I want to be the kind of dancer that has the ability to say everything with her body. And in a few years I want to be able to create novels with bodies."

Ohad himself looks forward to the year with Londiwe. He says: "My hope is always to encourage a dancert's ability to interpret - using the full scope of sensations - so that new content is given to a performance that I (the choreographer) did not 'write'. It is this ability that I cherish and I wish to be able to teach."

Contemporary dance in Israel has won international acclaim and choreographers like Ohad are considered some of the most versatile and original international creators of the 21st century, so Londiwe's year is going to be quite extraordinary, growing her as an artist and as a person.

 ABOUT THE INTIATIVE

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative is a philanthropic programme that was set up in 2002 to make a contribution to global culture. The programme seeks out gifted young artists from all over the world and brings them together with artistic masters, for a year of creative collaboration in a one-to-one mentoring relationship.

 In keeping with its tradition of supporting individual excellence, Rolex gives emerging artists time to learn, create and grow.

 Over the past decade, Rolex has paired mentors and protégés in dance, film, literature, music, theatre, visual arts and – as of 2012 – architecture. In the decade since it was launched, the mentoring programme has evolved into an enriching dialogue between artists of different generations, cultures and disciplines, helping ensure that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on to the next generation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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