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OYO’s invitation to dance at Maitisong Festival seals their international status

OYO’s invitation to dance at Maitisong Festival seals their international status

The OYO Dance Troupe has been selected to perform at the Maitisong Festival this coming weekend on 20 and 21April 2018. The accomplished dancers will be performing Maria, the Phantom of Namibia and Thiasus.

Dr Philippe Talavera, OYO’s director and choreographer, said it is a distinct honour for them to have been invited to the festival as it recognises their hard work as dancers and performers. “We use dance to create social awareness and we are well-known for the social work we do therefore it is important for the troupe to feature on international stages to showcase our work and talent.”

Maria follows the story of a young school girl who is forced to leave school for an arranged marriage. Sections from Maria are inspired by a workshop the troupe had with renown dancer Duncan Sebopelo from Botswana.

The Phantom of Namibia portrays the story of two orphans who become street kids. Exploring feelings of loss, loneliness, rejection, hope and disappointment, the performance follows their journey from the day of the funerals.

Thiasus is a modern interpretation of a classic tale inspired by the mythical figure of Dionysus and his followers, travelling in processions called Thiasus and recruiting newcomers to join in their celebration. “Too many young Namibian get pressurized to join in parties, and too often they regret their actions too little too late,” Dr Talavera contextualised.

The OYO Dance Troupe developed a unique repertoire using physical theatre, appealling to the heart rather than the intellect. They have performed for over 150,000 people in 2017 alone. Internationally the group has danced in Botswana, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Germany.



About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.