Internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer Paul Modjadji in action. Picture: Supplied
Internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer Paul Modjadji in action. Picture: Supplied

Hammanskraal arts youth programme back with a bang

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Aug 16, 2021

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Pretoria - As it turns 10 this year, and after taking a hiatus for a year due to the pandemic, a Hammanskraal arts youth programme is back with more exciting classes for people of all ages.

Initially launched with a focus on teenagers, to keep them busy when not at school, the Dare To Dream Arts programme today boasts children’s ballet classes and youth classes for children aged three to young adults, and is in the process of launching fitness classes for seniors and pensioners.

Founder, acclaimed dancer and choreographer, Paul Modjadji, said while restrictions have meant inconsistent running of their weekly programmes, they look forward to coming back into the community with a bang, and with more rigorous training programmes.

“When we started in 2011, it was upon realising that none of the Hammanskraal schools offered arts education as an extracurricular activity, and so there was was a need to ensure that arts inclined youth had access to arts education and future opportunities that arts training opens to them,” he added.

Currently, the programme offers classes in children’s ballet, music, dance and drama and has impacted more than 10  000 people.

“As lockdown restrictions largely mean prohibiting contact sports and activities, our developmental training programmes have been impacted, as they require consistent rigorous training. Virtual classes are difficult in most of the communities we serve, because of connectivity and access to data.”

It returns to the community with a stellar line-up of teachers and guest facilitators, who include former Tshwane University of Technology lecturer Lesego Baloyi, TV and stage actress Puleng Molebatsi, Dare To Dream alumni and renowned dancer Gomotsegang Maloka, and Modjajdi himself, and they will be working with the students.

Speaking about the programme, alumni Tshepiso Moeketsi, who has starred as Nelson Mandela in the Australian musical Madiba the Musical said Dare To Dream was not just an educational programme, but something which goes beyond expectations by offering experiential training.

“When I performed the lead role of Rorisang and Julie, it was my first time performing in a stage play of that magnitude.”

Moeketsi is currently working in Germany as a performing artist.

“We have ran our programmes in countries such as the US, Jamaica, Nigeria and Kenya. Between 2016 and 2018 we went on a 10-African country tour,” says Modjadji.

The programme’s 2021/22 student intake, said Modjadji, will rehearse a musical that will be filmed as Hammanskraal’s first film musical in 2022, and the venue will be announced soon.

Pretoria News

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