After successful performances in the Netherlands, the OYO dance troupe is now back to Namibia. It is time for the troupe to give back to the community. The troupe will therefore embark on a series of performances in November and December in both Windhoek and the Kunene Region.
‘In Windhoek, we will bring performances to the informal settlements’, explains Dr Philippe Talavera, OYO’s director. ‘Not everybody can come to town to the national theatre for instance. Yet, performances should be for all. It is important for us to go to people. We will perform three of our repertoire pieces, ‘Thiasus’, ‘to take or not to take’ and ‘Betrayed’ in Havana, in front of U-Save, on 05 November, in Hakahana next to the open market on 06 November, in Havana at the soccer field on 07 November, at Otjomuise 8 de Laan (08 November) and Otjomuise 7 de Laan (09 November) and at Ombili One Nation A (10 November).’ All shows will start at 17h00. Entrance is free thanks to support from UNAIDS. All shows have been planned in collaboration with local councillors.
‘The Kunene region has recently been flagged at the region doing the worse in terms of treatment adherence’, says Talavera. ‘We all know that nowadays HIV is a manageable disease. People living with the virus can access free treatment. All they have to do is take their daily pills consistently. For many people, this is not too difficult but for some it remains a challenge. In the Kunene region, it seems there are still many barriers, as people may start their treatment but then stop it. We therefore chose that region for an intervention from 26 November to 05 December, to coincide with World AIDS Day. We will have 16 performances all over the region, reaching out especially to young people.’ This program is jointly supported by UNICEF, UNAIDS and UNESCO. Pieces presented in the Kunene region include ‘to take or not to take’, ‘what is love?’ and ‘I have a choice’. Also prior to departure the troupe will have the opportunity to attend a two weeks workshop with young choreographer Chantal dos Santos from Canada. Chantal will develop a new piece with the troupe that will also be part of the tour.
The OYO dance troupe has gained international recognition in 2014 when it was selected to represent Namibia at the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in Glasgow. Since, they have also toured in South Africa, Botswana and the Netherlands. Next year, the troupe is planning a major event at the National Theatre of Namibia in March with international artist Kevork Mourad. ‘While working on big shows and international productions is exciting, says Talavera, ‘it is important for us to always remember where we come from. Giving back to the community is tremendously important. We don’t want to be known internationally if we are not first and foremost appreciated and respected in our own country.’
You can find more information on the events in Windhoek and the Kunene region on OYO’s facebook page or by calling the office 061 254915.