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MOYO CONCEPT, AUDITIONS & TRAINING (article first published : 2007-05-14)

moyo is a modern, sophisticated pan-African restaurant that fuses aesthetics, food & entertainment elements from all over the African continent. The restaurant strives to be in the forefront of contemporary Africa establishing trends, elevating the already ‘known’ to a different level. moyo is an ever-evolving experience that considers creativity one of its highest virtues.

The entertainment concept of moyo is to establish a small multi-talented company of performing artists to service the moyo restaurant at Ushaka-Durban on a daily basis. They would form the core group of performers for the restaurant, complimented on occasion by bands, individual solo / duet musicians as well as regular featured mbira players, mime artists, henna tattoo artists and storytellers.

Artists need to be versatile, flexible and dedicated. They would be contracted for a six to12 month period with an annual renewal option after the initial contract period. They would also be put onto a three month initial trial period. They would need to be receptive to a fusion of dance styles and techniques (including Contemporary, Traditional African Dance, Indian & Latin). They would also be required to have skills in singing, music and acting. Acrobatic skills would be welcomed.

The mixed racial core company should contain eight artists and two standby’s. The group will be trained initially by Natalie Fisher (Entertainment Director for moyo) in conjunction with an assistant artistic director & vocal coach who will stay on in Durban to run and maintain the artistic integrity of the company. We are also looking for an entertainment co-ordinator/administrator who will help manage and maintain the company together with the artistic director in Durban

The entertainment theme for moyo Ushaka should concentrate on elements from the East Coast of Africa, including Indian ocean/Island music, Reunion Island, Calypso, Sego, Mozambique, Kenya, Egypt and Tanzania. moyo aims to include the cultural elements Durban and the greater KwaZulu-Natal such as Rickshaws (for possible mobile stages with singers as well as carrying guests to and from parking areas), Mkhubane Blues (style of a cappella singing) and the use of KZN’s unique Fanagalore in songs.

Auditions take place from May 12 to 16 at the Stable Theatre.

May 13 from 10h00 to 18h00 focuses on isicathamiya singers, gumboot dancers, Indian dancers, pantsula dancers, Latin dancers, acappella singing groups and acrobatic groups.

May 14 from 09h30 to 13h00 focuses on multi-talented individuals with the period from 14h00 to 18h00 concentrating on mbira, djembe and talking drum players, henna tattoo artists, mime artists and storytellers.

May 15 sees a continuation of multi-talented individuals from 09h30 to 13h00 while the period after that (14h00 to 18h00) deals with callbacks and a short list. On June 16 there will be workshops with short-listed individuals

Training and rehearsals will take place from June 6 to 30 and will possibly take place at the Kwasuka Theatre (tbc). During this period, the team will develop and conceptualize a number of performance pieces incorporating elements of Zulu, Indian, Contemporary & Traditional styles with both dance and singing. This period will also be used to source and audition existing Durban based Afro-Fusion/Jazz/Traditional (etc) musicians & bands.

For more information, contact Nasreen on 031 309 7559 or phone/sms Eben on 082 574 9281.




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