Jibilika to fuse old and new dance

The provincial preliminaries for the 7th edition of the annual national Jibilika Dance Festival have resumed. Masvingo hosted its preliminary last Saturday and the next round is scheduled for Mutare on July 26.

Masvingo winners were break-dance group Prototypes and dancehall crew Zvazvinhu, who will represent the province at the grand finale later this year.

The electric event drew 12 dance crews from across the province to battle out for the two slots. Kwakuseri, Zvazvinhu, Krekaz, HKU, Prototypes, Bang Squad, My Age Bomb Busters, Mabhanditi, Thrillers, Fabolous Four, Dzimbabwe Dancers and Dance Queen dance group took part.

Most dance groups performed to local Dancehall music doing a style popularly known as Clax – giving weight to the assertion that ZimDancehall has taken over in recent years.

The Harare preliminary in April saw Swag Turn Up outclassing 10 other dance groups.

The festival will now move to Bindura, Mutare, Marondera, Gweru and Chinhoyi ending in Bulawayo ahead of the national finals in Harare on the August 30, where three winners will be crowned.

Prizes for the winners will be announced in July. Jibilika Dance Trust, the organiser of the festival, is working with venues and local arts organisations across the country as a way of giving ownership of the initiative to the locals.

This year’s Festival is running under the theme “Urban Roots” as it seeks to merge and celebrate traditional and urban dance cultures. Founded in 2007, the festival aims to promote dance as a vehicle for youth, talent development and a platform for recreation.

This year, entrants have been asked to create a dance piece that fuses traditional dances that represent their province and urban dances.

The goal is to get young people to know and appreciate their culture and preserve it, while at the same time giving them the liberty to be creative.

“We seek to encourage young people to remain rooted in our traditional culture at the same time shining in the urban forms. The drive will not only impact on dancers only but also the various communities they reside in and the general audience. The festival will present a rare fusion of two cultures and two generation,” said a spokesperson for Jibilika.