Monday, 14 August 2017

INTERVIEW: Bawren Tavaziva & Lisa Rowley on Izindava

Following a successful tour of Africarmen in Spring 2017, Tavaziva Dance are now entering their rehearsal period for Tavaziva's new work Izindava. In between rehearsals, I met Artistic Director, Bawren Tavaziva with dancer and Rehearsal Assistant Lisa Rowley to talk about the inspiration behind Izindava, Bawren's memories of Zimbabwe and what we can expect from Izindava.

PC: Tony Hay

Maya Pindar: what are you most excited about for Izindava?

Bawren Tavaziva: well, it’s not what I expected! It’s growing into a much bigger idea. It touches on a lot of subjects. It’s different to my usual choreography- the vocabulary is very different. I’m excited to do something that I’ve really not done before.

Lisa Rowley: it's a completely brand new company, so all the dancers are fresh and have never done Bawren's work before. It's a totally different energy in the studio. Seeing Bawren's choreograph on new bodies will be really interesting- I'm really excited to see how Bawren's vocabulary develops on the new dancers.

MP:  Bawren, some of your choreography is inspired by your upbringing in Zimbabwe. What are your memories of Zimbabwe?

BT: I’ve always been afraid of the dark. I grew up with fear. The school I went to was built up with fear- beatings and you know… And church as well; even at youth club there was humiliation. That was scary. Under Robert Mugabe’s regime, everyone was disciplined brutally. That is why Zimbabweans don’t speak a lot. You know, there’s no freedom of speech. So I suppose most of my work is based on my own experiences.

MP: and what are your memories of freedom?

BT: the first time black people were allowed to walk on the street in Zimbabwe. Mugabe stopped the racism and segregation. We were free to go in any shop or restaurant. So when I came to London, I was surprised to see a white person sitting on the street begging for money. Where I’m from, a white person always has money- he’s the boss.

Dancer Lisa Rowley in rehearsal at bbodance. PC: Leah Fox

MP: where do you find your resilience and how do you put this into your movement?

BT: I found my strength in music and through movement. I love making music! And perhaps with dance- I find ways to talk about things I don’t usually talk about- verbally. I’m lucky because I can place those thoughts on a stage and share it. So, I try to find music that matches my idea. If I can find the right music, my body automatically finds the movement. The music is the drive.

LR: at the beginning of the rehearsal period, we'll focus only on the steps, without any emotion. At week five, we'll start piecing in emotion and story line as an extra layer. Bawren totally gives us the reigns though- I usually draw on my own personal experiences, so the movement really comes alive.

Artistic Director Bawren Tavaziva and dancers in rehearsal. PC: Emily Winfield

MP: Lisa, can you tell us a bit about Bawren's choreographic process?

LR: it's very much about Bawren being present in the moment, and how he's feeling in that moment. He generally churns out movement step by step. Everyone learns everything to being with, and then he will select which phrases fit each dancer. 

MP: and finally, can you tell us one thing that we can expect from Izindava?

BT:  so, Donald Trump is part of Izindava as well. What I'm really talking about here is Trump’s behaviour… basically, if he was black, would he get away with it? I'm talking about white supremacy- because it’s still strong and it still exists.

Izindava begins it's tour in the Autumn. For full dates and details visit Tavaziva's website.

1 comment:

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