The Indoni Dance Academy will spread its wings outside for a series of performances in the parks at different venues around Cape Town. SHEILA CHISHOLM investigates:

Indoni Dance Academy

Indoni – translated from Zulu – means beautiful. “The beauty in our colourful souls blending with nature’s splendour around us.”

This is how Indoni Dance Academy’s artistic director and resident choreographer Sbonakaliso Ndaba sees how bringing together well-trained contemporary African-centred dancers in splendid open air spaces can truly reveal Indoni’s depth.

“Unfortunately for too long we have given in to believing parks are places to fear – of attack -rather than places where our souls gain freedom surrounded by nature’s glorious plumes. It’s time we started reclaiming our parks as people-friendly places where we learn to survey nature’s harmony as we walk among indigenous trees, and hear birds call while looking for the odd little animal or butterfly. Parks are where humans and nature should live side by side in total harmony,” says Ndaba.

In an endeavour to regenerate our parks into safe living harbours for all, especially children, Ndaba has selected three local ones to showcase ubuntu at its working best.

Indoni Dance Academy performances

On Sunday 7 April 2019 at 3pm at Athlone’s Nantes Park, Saturday 27 April 2019 (Freedom Day) at 3pm at Wetlands Park Khayelitsha* and Wednesday 1 May 2019 (Workers Day) at 3pm at Green Point Park, 21 dancers from the Indoni Dance Academy, including some of their own students, will give a free, one hour long programme, honouring our African heritage.

Indoni Dance Academy

Since Indoni’s inception in 2014, under Ndaba’s leadership, Indoni Dance Academy has presented 122 performances to over 65 000 people. They have performed at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and toured Australia.

Says Jennifer van Papendorp, Indoni’s managing director: “Our three-year course, centred at Pinelands Recreational Eco Village, offers a curriculum which  honours our South African heritage, while providing on-the-job training for graduates to pass on to youngsters in our communities. We teach important social and choreographic skills that can be pursued in the commercial field and/or passed on to others.  We are proud to say, almost all our graduates are presently employed and leading rich, rewarding lifestyles.”

*If unfavourable conditions warrant cancelling this performance it will be held on Sunday 28 April.