Biennale de Danse is back in Seychelles after 6-year hiatus
The Biennale de Danse in Seychelles was last organised in 2017. (Seychelles Nation)
More Seychellois dancers are expected to be exposed to higher-level contemporary dance through their participation in the 10th edition of the Biennale de Danse.
Taking place between August 21 to September 2 in the island nation under the theme 'Water', the Biennale will see the participation of groups from Congo, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Russia, and Seychelles, with a recorded piece from Cuba.
It will also see the participation of an international choreographer from South Africa, through a sponsorship from the tourism department.
Over 20 dancers will come together to take part in 10 days of workshops, which will culminate in a Gala Night on September 2. During the gala, each group will perform a 10-minute dance around the theme. They will then come together under the guidance of the South African choreographer to perform a 15-minute piece.
The director at the Conservatory for Performing Arts, Pierre Joseph, told reporters on Wednesday that through the Biennale, "we want our students to benefit from the workshop because they do not get a lot of international exposure."
"The dancers coming in are well-travelled and are most likely part of a dance group, school, or company, and have been dancing for some time. This will greatly expose our students to higher-level contemporary dance," said Joseph.
He added that bringing in an international choreographer will expose more Seychellois dancers as "it's more economic to bring in a choreographer than to send all the students overseas for workshops."
The Biennale is being organised by the School of Dance, which falls under the National Arts and Craft Council (NACC). The Biennale de Danse in Seychelles, which was last organised in 2017, is a workshop and dance festival organised every two years. Its aim is to share dance expertise, dance techniques and cultural exchanges among the participants.
"This year we chose the theme 'water'. Each group will interpret the theme in their own way, what water means in their lives, its importance, and in general what water can represent in dance and for the world of contemporary dance," said Joseph.
The senior dance instructor at the School of Dance, Ruth Barbe, explained that the difference with this edition of the Biennale is that participants will be performing under the same theme.
"In the past the theme was open. This year, we chose the theme of water to organise the Biennale as water affects everyone in the world and water problems are everywhere in different forms. It is a theme that society can relate to. Through dance, we can pass out information on the situation of water," said Barbe.