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Mophato dance theater raises the bar

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DIMPHO LEGORENG

There is no doubt that had it not been a push to halt everything this year, there would probably have been a lot that Mophato Dance Theatre would have ticked off boxes. Botswana dance ensemble “Mophato Dance Theatre” has over the continued to break the music dreads through excellence and perseverance. The group that uses body artifacts for performance has been hailed as Botswana’s leading stage performance group.

The youthful group is the brainchild of Andrew Kola who was inspired to set up the dance troupe after receiving dance training in South Africa.Molepolole born Kola is a former lead dancer of the renowned traditional dance group – Mogwana. Kola is the main man behind all the success that the group has realised from choreography to master classes.

Kola says that establishing the group was a daunting task as he could not explain his ideas to the recruits he had in mind back in 2009. In a recent interview with Kola, he told that his ideas he felt obligated to establish the group despite the challenges he has had to face. “I was not only faced with a challenge to execute my ideas but once the group was ready for performance, Batswana believed we were foreign to them because they could not relate to a new concept altogether besides traditional dancing,” he added.“

The group focuses on contemporary dance theatre but we have dances and vocals done in other genres such as “pantsola” dance and Hip Hop,” explains Kola. He adds that the dance movements he comes up with always tell a story. Among other things the group has master classes for different categories of dancers who come to them for training.

In 2017 Mophato took New York City by storm. The Botswana group was performing for the first time at the 36th annual Battery Dance Festival in Manhattan, New York, USA. The American media gave enormous coverage to the group after the pulled a standing ovation at the same festival. They have performed inost parts of Africa and Europe.