Paul Modjadji Breaks Down Borders in Africa
To mark his tenth anniversary in the dance world, internationally acclaimed dance champion Paul Modjadji’s initiative Breaking Down Borders Africa Tour recently made a stop in Nairobi, as part of his 10 African Country tour.
From the 14 th to the 18 th of January Modjadji visited Why Not Academy in Mathare, held auditions for dancers at the American Corner in the city and held free master class workshops at YMCA dance studios. During his stay in the country Modjadji had the opportunity to interact with the dance community in Nairobi.
The tour is about dance opportunities and growth as they endeavor to professionalize their dance skills. The Breaking Down Borders Africa Tour is a pan-African dance tour that sees Modjadji make ten stops on the continent teaching dance and collaborating with young African Civic Leaders and artists. Inspired by his work with the European Star Dance Union (ESDU), Modjadji uses the tour as a means to scout for fresh talent in the continent, to take part in the Dance Star World Masters in Croatia.
One dancer from Kenya will win the opportunity to represent Kenya at the biggest dance completion in the world, the 2017 Dance Star World Masters. Modjadji made history by becoming the first dancer in Africa to win the Dance Star World Championships in the solo Jazz category in 2011. Following that success, Modjadji has since been crowned top dancer in the world at Talent America Showcase in New York in 2013 and in 2015 Modjadji was appointed lead choreographer in Africa’s first made for cinema dance film “Hear Me Move”, Which went on to winning multiple awards since its release in 2015.
Modjadji stopped in Kenya as a result of a collaboration with fellow Mandela Washington alumni Naomi Mwaura, Managing Director of Flone Initiative, non-governmental organization that works to create a safe and professional public transport industry. Flone Initiative offers trainings on women’s safety and security and customer service to public transport operators (drivers and conductors).
Speaking about his time in Kenya, Modjadji had this to say, “ Kenya is a beautiful country, with so much talent and rich heritage. To have had the opportunity to not only experience the powerful talent that is carried by dancers in Kenya but to visit heritage sites such as the Mau Forrest and Hells gate opened my eyes to the endearing spirit of the people of Kenya. As a choreographer and storyteller I look forward to collaborating with artists from Kenya. I am thrilled to announce the winner of our talent search in March 2017.”
Kenyan Dancer, Choreographer and actress Stella Situma who had the opportunity to attend Paul’s workshops said “the workshops were fresh and nothing like what the dancers of Kenya have experienced before”. She continued to say “I felt empowered and feel the future is a little bit brighter because of the knowledge Modjadji imparted”. Stella hopes Modjadji comes back to continue imparting his dance skills.
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Vincent Libosso is a part time foodie, a keen events reporter, the entertainment kahuna and an expert at all things cool. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.