The 9th Biennale de danse de Seychelles was launched yesterday morning at the Theatre des Palmes. Dance choreographers and dancers from five countries — Madagascar, Mauritius & Rodrigues, South Korea, Australia and Seychelles — are meeting for the biennale’s 10-day dance workshop which will end on September 2 with a Biennale de danse gala evening at the International Conference Centre, Seychelles (ICCS).
‘Biennale de danse’ is a workshop and dance festival organised every two years by the National Conservatoire of Performing Arts (NCPA) and is aimed at sharing dance expertise, dance techniques and cultural exchanges among the participants.
The launch of the international event took place in the presence of the Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Mitcy Larue, the principal secretary for culture Cecile Kalebi, the director of the NCPA Pierre Joseph, other representatives from the culture division and the NCPA and the dance participants.
The Biennale de danse de Seychelles is organised by the NCPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and other partners.
The Plity company dance group of three from Madagascar, Les Frères Joseph company dance group of four from Mauritius, three dancers from Rodrigues, six dancers and three officials from the Hana dance Company from South Korea and six dancers from the School of Dance, Seychelles will be under the training guidance of the main choreographer of the Biennale de danse, Scott Ewen, from Australia.
Mr Ewen said the dance concept for the 10-day biennale will be on a perspective based on positive connections and that will involve a different movement language and vocabulary, challenging them to something new and hard to work on so that it will make the outcome for the gala much more beneficial and promising,” he said.
In her opening remarks to launch Biennale de danse de Seychelles, Minister Larue said she hoped that “through the Biennale you are not only able to further develop your skills and talents, but are also able to create rich and meaningful memories and friendships”.
Minister Larue also urged the international dancers to take the opportunity over and above the workshop business to learn a bit about Seychelles by experiencing our warm hospitality and by exploring its beauty as she wished them a fruitful deliberation and a pleasant stay.
Mr Joseph also welcomed and thanked all for their presence and participation. “You know the Biennale de danse is about bringing all the different countries with different expertise together here in Seychelles every two years for technical expertise, for professional exchange, but most importantly for some friendly exchange of cultures and dance techniques.”
He thanked all sponsors and friends of the School of Dance for their support.
Christine Waterstone from Rodrigues who is attending the Biennale for the first time said they do not get much of this kind of opportunity in Rodrigues.
“I hope it will be rich in emotions, rich in exchange as we will be making the most of the opportunity to learn what the other colleagues have to offer,” she said.
Wilnette Joseph from the Seychelles School of Dance said: “We expect to gather international experience from the other groups that will help us in our dances in the future and we will also share our cultural dance with them and also show them from our side what we have and can do as a small dance school.”
Jerome Mandarine from Les Frères Joseph of Mauritius said: “We are here to share and learn many things and we are very happy to be here as there are many cultures present and it will be good to learn from them.”
Kirikou Angelica from Madagascar said for him the biennale de danse is a new discovery and new adventure.
“As we always feed on dances, it’s very interesting for us to meet new people and to have new exchanges especially through the main choreographer who has proposed a challenge to us and I am looking forward to it,” he said.
Kim Mi Suk of the Hana dance company from South Korea said her group will showcase some Korean cultural and modern fusion creative dancing while learning other types of dance from other groups.
After the launch yesterday, the dancers went straight into their 10-day programme with a warm up relief class with Seychellois choreographer Joel Rose and later a choreography session in the afternoon with Australian choreographer Scott Ewen.