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Press Release: Fundraiser for Nadine Mckenzie

Nadine Mckenzie, a 20-year-old performer using a wheelchair, a single mom and a member of South Africa’s leading contemporary integrated dance initiative, Remix Dance Company, has just become the first qualified integrated dance teacher in South Africa. She recently attended the largest dance festival in Europe, ImpulsTanz in Vienna, where she completed her training with the world-renowned Alito Alessi.

A special fundraising performance of Lovaffair will be given next Thursday, 12 August, at 20h00 in Flipside at the Baxter to help Nadine with the costs that she incurred in order to achieve this milestone in her life, which included a loan which she needs to repay. Tickets for the fundraiser cost only R120 and include drinks and snacks after the performance.

 

This inspiring young dancer has been a member of the Remix since 2006. She has been crucial to the creation of Lovaffair and was due to perform in the new production in March but had to withdraw due to surgery.

Nadine is passionate about movement and dance. When she was just two years old she was involved in a serious car accident which left her paralysed from the waist down. She attended Astra School for physically disabled children and it was here that she started dancing after participating in workshops conducted and facilitated by Jazzart. At 12 she started ballroom classes with Gladys Bullock from the South African Circle of Dance and it was then that she started dancing using a wheelchair.

In 2006 she was invited to join the Remix Dance Company by Artistic Director Malcolm Black, who had seen her perform. Since joining the company Nadine has produced exceptional work and has established herself as a well-recognised figure within the performing arts community.

While recovering from the neck surgery which corrected an 18-year old injury, she was stunned by the devastating news that her mother, brother, uncle and three other family members had died in what was described as one of Cape Town’s most gruesome accidents on the N1 near Kraaifontein.

With the tragic passing of Nadine’s support base she is now left alone with her two-year-old son, Kaylim. The depth of her inner strength has carried her and most people around her through this trying time and it is her unfailing and positive determination that serves as a source of inspiration to many.

Her perseverance and passion were rewarded when the internationally respected Alito Alessi invited her participate in the workshop at the ImpulsTanz Festival in Vienna last month. He is the Artistic Director of DanceAbility International and widely regarded as a pioneering teacher and choreographer in the fields of contact improvisation, and dance and disability. This workshop is one of the few internationally recognised qualifications for integrated dance teachers in the world.

More than 300 dance artists, people with disabilities and those interested in working with people with disabilities from 18 different countries attended the three-week long DanceAbility Teacher Certification workshops.

“With Remix Dance Company I have found my second home,” says the petite dancer gently. “Remix is at the forefront of dance innovation in South Africa; it constantly seeks to break down barriers between able-bodied and mobility-challenged dancers. It is a company that aligns itself with the international integrated dance movement and this is important for me.”

Remix Dance Company’s Lovaffair, which had its world premiere in March this year, returns to Flipside at the Baxter for nine performances only from 11 to 20 August at 8pm nightly.

With this production the award-winning and leading South African contemporary integrated dance initiative, now resident at the Baxter Theatre Centre, also celebrates 10 years of innovative and groundbreaking work. This has been made possible through the generous investment of philanthropic international businessman Roger Jungblut, CEO of UAL’s Youngblood.

Directed by Ina Wichterich-Mogane, who is also their dance teacher, the five-member, full-time company comprises Malcolm Black, Lee-anne Meyer, Nadine Mckenzie, Andile Vellem and Marlin Zoutman. They are joined by actor, director and composer Bongile Mantsai and 2008 Fleur du Cap Best Actress winner Chuma Sopotela.

The production combines differently-abled dancers as well as actors and gives further meaning and expression to the term integrated dance. Artistic Director Malcolm Black explains, “Firstly the cast is so diverse, then there is diversity of bodies and styles and then we have two actors joining us. We are used to diversity but in this regard where we combine dance and drama we have less experience. So it is equally exciting and challenging.”

Veteran dance and arts writer Adrienne Sichel said, “Judging by its track record and the transcendental sorcery of Lovaffair, this dance company isn’t only levelling the proverbial social playground, rife with prejudice, they are totally transforming it.” Capetheatre.co.za said “Lovaffair presents a compelling combination of dance and theatrical styles. Adhering to the demands of contemporary dance, the performance expresses the energy and emotion of the individual. In a fluid, yet striking use of the body, the dancers personify an aspect of the human condition – our ability to love.”

In 2002 the company won the prestigious Arts and Culture Trust Award for the Cultural Development Project of the Year in recognition of its work in education and performance. In 2006 the company won the Western Cape Cultural Commission Award for its Outstanding Contribution to Disability and the Arts.

Remix explores and develops dance which values the honesty and integrity of the body. As the first and one of the longest-standing integrated dance companies in the country, Remix seeks, through its work, to simultaneously entertain, educate and challenge attitudes and policies in the human rights area with programmes of solid artistic integrity and excellence.

In October the company will perform their highly acclaimed Beautyfull with Jazzart Dance Theatre and SA Circle of Dance, and patrons who book for this and Lovaffair pay only R120 for the two.

Lovaffair opens on 11 August and runs until 20 August at 8pm nightly. Booking for the special fundraiser on 12 August or any other performance is through Computicket on 083 915 8000, online at www.computicket.co.za or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet countrywide. For discounted block, schools or corporate bookings, charities and fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962 or Carmen on 021 680 3993 during office hours. Ticket prices range from R120 (Monday to Thursday) to R130 (Friday and Saturday).

Ends

For further media enquiries, interview or picture requests please contact Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager, Baxter Theatre Centre on 021 680 3971, cell 072 2656 023 or email fahiem.stellenboom@uct.ac.za.

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Special offer: Buy tickets for the following two productions and pay only R120

The Baxter Theatre Centre in association with UAL’s Youngblood presents

Remix Dance Company’s

LOVAFFAIR

and

BEAUTYFULL

in association with Artscape, South African Circle of Dance Academy and Jazzart Dance Theatre 

Leading South African contemporary integrated dance initiative, the award-winning Remix Dance Company, celebrates its 10th anniversary and its new home at the Baxter Theatre Centre with two groundbreaking and edgy productions – Lovaffair and Beautyfull.

 Directed by Ina Wichterich, both productions creatively and dynamically combine differently-abled dancers with actors and give further meaning and expression to the term integrated dance.

Lovaffair, first presented earlier this year, includes the Fleur du Cap and Naledi award-winning Chuma Sopotela and Bongile Mantsai. In a fluid, yet striking use of the body, the dancers personify an aspect of the human condition – the ability to love.

Following its resounding success last year, the edgy, life-affirming and poignant dance artwork Beautyfull returns for a third season, showcasing the talent of Remix Dance Company, Jazzart Dance Theatre and the South African Circle of Dance Academy.

 

 

LOVAFFAIR

 10 – 14, 16 – 20 August at 20:00

 

BEAUTYFULL

 12 – 16 October at 20:00

16 October at 14:00

 

             Book through Computicket on 083 915 8000, online at www.computicket.co.za

              or at any Computicket or Shoprite Checkers outlet countrywide.

 

For discounted block bookings (entire house), charities, schools, corporate bookings and fundraisers,

please contact one of the following:
            Sharon Alexander 021 680 3962 or sharon.alexander@uct.ac.za
      Carmen Kearns 021 680 3993 or carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za.

 

Special offer: Buy tickets for the following two productions and pay only R120,
i.e. R60 per ticket (normal price R120 and R130) 

 

 

 

 

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Nadine Mckenzie to become the first qualified integrated dance teacher in South Africa

 

Nadine Mckenzie is passionate about movement, she is passionate about dance. This enthusiasm is to no extent diminished by the fact that Nadine is in a wheelchair.  When Nadine was two-and-a-half years old she was in a serious car accident which left her paralysed from the waist down. In her heart she knew that this would not deter her from exploring the graceful language of dance. At the age of 12 Nadine started ballroom classes with Gladys Bullock from South African Circle of Dance, and started dancing in her wheelchair. However, Nadine felt that she had not yet broken through the confines of her disability. When she was 16 the founder of Remix Dance Company spotted her and invited her to join this unique organisation. Remix is at the forefront of dance innovation in South Africa; it constantly seeks to break down barriers between able-bodied and mobility-challenged dancers. It is a company that aligns itself with the international integrated dance movement. Nadine had found her second home, her passion and her wings as a dancer.

For the past five years Nadine Mckenzie has produced exceptional work as part of Remix and has established herself as a well-recognised figure within the performing arts community.

2010 has proved to be a watershed year in Nadine’s life. It is only her determined positive outlook which pulled her through serious neck surgery at the beginning of this year to correct an 18-year-old injury. While recovering from the surgery she was stunned by the devastating news that her mother, brother, uncle and three other family members died in a car accident on the N1 near Kraaifontein, said to have been one of Cape Town most gruesome recent accidents. With the tragic passing of Nadine’s support base, she is now left alone with her two-year-old son, Kaylim. The depth of Nadine’s inner strength has carried not only her but most people around her through this trying time. Yet again it was her positive determination and dreams that enabled her to bear her sorrow with dignity and grace.

Throughout all of this tragedy Nadine remained steadfast in her dedication to integrated dance forms, recognised by everyone. Her perseverance and passion have now been rewarded, as Nadine has recently received an invitation from Alito Alessi to participate in the Integrated Dance Teacher Training workshop in Vienna in July. This workshop is one of the few internationally recognised qualifications for integrated dance teachers in world. Alito Alessi is a pioneer in integrated dance and has grown this initiative so much that he now has qualified teachers in Europe, North America and South America.

Nadine’s focus is to let life light up for others as much as for herself through dancing.  This is not only a personal opportunity but also a great opportunity for South Africa because there are currently no trained integrated dance teachers in this country. Nadine will therefore be the first qualified integrated dance teacher in South Africa if she gets the opportunity to participate in this course. As Remix Dance Company is constantly doing educational workshops her expertise will filter through into the wider community.

The workshop will be taking place from 5 to 31 July in Vienna, Austria. Nadine has already been accepted into the programme and she has already paid for her own flight. We now need to raise another R50 000 to make her dream come true. If you would like to assist in changing the life of this young woman, as well as contributing to positive development in the greater South African community, please contact Batya Blankers, Remix company manager, on 082 336 0314, or e-mail bxt-remix@uct.ac.za.

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Remix @ Vista Nova by Nadine Mckenzie

Our first day started off well. We arrived at the school ready for action; I think we were just as exited as the learners, maybe just a little bit more. We had snacks for them then started with a warm up game, and a name game to get to know each other.

At first they were very nervous and shy but also very eager to learn dance. They couldn’t wait to start even though they didn’t have a clue of what they were doing. After the warm up games and explaining what we were going to be doing we started working on some improvisation exercises.

After the first day with the students we had something to work with as we knew now what we were working with. We were so hungry to explore more with the. From the very first day we could tell there was something so special and unique about each of them. They wanted to learn about dance and explore their bodies in a way they hadn’t yet before. The fact that they were so nervous, she and didn’t have a clue of what they were doing did not stop them from trying. And that to me means and says a lot about them. We only had five days with the learners but in the short time we accomplished so much. Not only did they create a great piece but they got to know each other better. They learnt more about themselves and over came some of their fears.

On Thursday, the night of their performance at their arts and Culture Evening they were very exited about going on stage. They reminded me of why I love my job so much. We have many reasons to be thankful for the jobs that we have because of how much hey love and appreciated the time we spent with them. Its kids like those learners we had the privilege to work with that inspires me as a performer to do my and best and give my all. It was a true privilege and we all hope to work with them again? I’d like to say to those learners and every young person out there, “you are the next best performer, choreographers and directors, so work hard and do your best. Nothing is impossible.”

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My Nation by Andile Vellem

My Nation is South Africa

South Africa is in Africa

Brothers and Sisters

Let our brothers and sisters be

Where they want to be in Africa

Our discrimination we can loose

So many Nations and also our God

For 2010 as host of FIFA World Cup

            “O Thou art not so”

We must do the right things.

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Graffiti Art – Interview with Charl van der Westhuizen – by Lee-anne Meyer

Dit staan bekend as een van die vyf hoof elemente van hip hop. Jare gelede het Suid-afrikaanse Boesmanne bekend as die Khoisan hulle tekene gelos op rotes en steene. Hulle het hul stories vertel deur middle van tekeninge en dus hoe hulle gekommunikeer en gedeel het met generasies. Die khoi noesmans is geafekteer deur sedert het wituitnodigings was gedoen in die land en dit het hul kultur en lewenswyse hewig aangepak. Dele van die kultuur staan grootliks uit in faktore in gemeen met vandag se Hip Hop kultuur. Ek praat nou meer van graffiti writing. Waar kunstenaars hulself uitleef deur middle van hulself uitleef deur middle van hul vitual element van Hip Hop kultur. Dit is vir my bewys dat die khoikhoi of Boesman se rock art lank nog nie uitgesterf het nie. Hip Hop word nou grootliks deur Koisan en slawe van die malaise en asia decent in Kaapstad en S.A. beofen.

Bekende Kunstenaars is: Mac1, Falco Star, Faith 47, Drone and maybe a whole lot more are born and bred in the Cape Flats.

(Charl van der Westhuizen – Bliksemstraal – het met Lee-anne van Remix oor Graffiti gepraat)

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The Real You by Marlin Zoutman

Isn’t it funny, the older you get the more you realise what you want to experience in life. I think everyone wants to be happy and loved. In order to be and loved you have to ask yourself “who am I?”. You see my view on life is very different in comparison to a few years. I started doing Yoga a year ago and my perception of life and my relationship to the world has changed.

Yoga taught me you can only be happy once you start realising who you truly are and that there is a very close relationship between our thoughts, attitudes, actions and behaviour. Thus yoga deals with our daily life experiences and encourages us to be humble and let go of the ego. Through my Yoga I discovered that there is a real you, an individual, not a person, and not a body. People who cling to their bodily identity are not aware of this knowledge. I am learning to let go of my inner conflict and to live in harmony with the world. I believe yoga and life go hand in hand, the one can’t do without the other. Set the real you free, we want to meet him/her.

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Remix Goes To School by BB

We are very happy to say that from next week Tuesday we will be doing our first residency in 2010 at Vista Nova highschool. In a very short period of time after thousands of phone calls I managed to set up a meeting with Miss Bates at Vista Nova. Nadine and I went to the school on Tuesday to meet the students and teachers.

Upon meeting Miss Bates it was clear why she was in charge of the arts and culture evening, she looked like a painting with her royal blue coat and Jackson Pollock print dress. Our presentation to the highschool during their assembly was met with loud wow’s and ooh’s and yay’s. It was so great to speak to a group of people that were so open and tentative. When assembly was adjourned the fifteen places that we had reserved for the workshop disappeared like hotcakes. Everybody was so exited, on of the boys asked me if the snacks that we would have for them were free? And that’s fine because I also only go to launches if I know that I will get a free glass of wine.

So that’s it from me for now. We will keep everybody updated during the course of the course of the workshop. Below are some concrete facts.

  1. Start 11 May 2010 to 20 May 2010
  2. We will be putting on a performance with the students @ their Arts and Culture evening on the 20th of May at Vista Nova Primary.
  3. Hannah Lowenthal will be joining us as a facilitator and choreographer.
  4. There will be snacks for the student’s everyday.
  5. This project is made possible by Youngblood
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Lovaffair by Nadine Mckenzie

Lovaffair is remix’s most recent piece, directed by Ina Wichterich-Mogane with a cast of five Remix dancers; Malcolm Black who is wheelchair bound (nothing keeps him back from doing what he wants), Andile Vellem who is deaf, Lee-anne Meyer, Marlin Zoutman and myself. Bongile Manstai and Chuma Sapotela both award winning actors joined the company for the Lovaffair production.

The company spent weeks rehearsing the piece, a lot of dedication, hard work, commitment and emotions were put into this remarkable creation. You can tell when watching the piece how much love it takes, love for what we do, to have created this piece. There were many different stories being told, through dance, acting and the use of harnesses. Although love was also expressed in different languages, movement and emotions, the message was still powerful and strong. It is like being taken on a journey of love. The piece also tells the story of each performer and their dreams. Not only was this piece created from scratch but it was also the start of a wonderful relationship and bond within the group.

Lovaffair is a piece out of the ordinary yet extraordinary and filled with so much love, laughter, ‘crazy’ characters and so much beauty.

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