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NEWS FROM MDU MAGALELA (article first published : 2003-03-23)

Mdu Magalela, the Durban dancer who won the 2002 Rio Tinto/British Council Scholarship to study at the acclaimed London Contemporary Dance School, sends news of his activities.

His day at the school starts at 08h45 and goes through to 18h00. He has two technique teachers for each term, last term it was Kerry Nicholls for contemporary (teaching the Limon technique and Release) and Christian Adams for ballet. This term they are Dr Mary Evelyn for contemporary (Cunningham Technique) and Pippa Buckingham for ballet.

During lunch, Mdu spends his time in the library on Internet before heading off for composition, coreology, improvisation, music for dancers, video/dance films. Between 18h00 and 20h00, he has reheasals for the projects directed by the 3rd year students, the MA-Post Graduate or external Choreographers. So his day is pretty full, to say the least!

Hes learning to find his way around London and enjoying the vibe. I like everything about the city - transport and shops are 24 hour service which makes my life easier.

His time in London coincided with one of the coldest snaps the city has epxierenced. I've never been in this kind of situation before, he says. I couldn't believe it until I went outside the building to feel the snow. Three years ago I travelled through more than five countries in Europe and America in winter but snow never fell.

Through the school, he has made friends from all over the world Brazil, Spain, Germany, Basque, France, Califonia, Venezuela, Greece and, of course, England. In July he is planning to do a world tour with them before he returns to South Africa.

Mdu lives 45 minutes away from the London Contemporary Dance School in TurnPike Lane, Haringey, with four Spanish girls from Wales and one English girl. We live in a huge house with six bedrooms, three levels, sitting room, lounge, two bathrooms, kitchen and a beautiful garden at the back The walls are decorated with Spanish, German and Zulu painting - we painted it ourselves. We cook all together to experience each others food and our dish of the day is Pap and Vleis and Lasagna (Italian)

He has seen numerous dance productions in Dance Umbrella2002 and Resolution Programme 2003 including Richard Alston Dance Co, White Oak Dance Project, Rosas, Ballett Freiburg, Merce Cunningham, Ballet de Lorraine, Walker Dance, Charleroi danses/plan k, Mal pelo, Akram Khan, Shobana Jeyasingh, Inbal Pinto, Carol Brown, Companhia de Danca, Debora Colker,English National Ballet, etc. He was also impressed by interesting pieces from choreographers like Gregory Merzger from Zurich trained at the Swiss Ballet Academy who also works with Bejart in Lausanne.Martin Zimmermann and Dimitri de Perrot.

Contact Mdu on e-mail: shwibeka@hotmail.com




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