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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

DANCE AFRICA (article first published : 2008-03-6)

Following the success of its first season, Channel O’s Dance Africa is once again intent on finding the hottest freestyle dance talent on the continent.

This time around, the innovative talent search takes in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), Accra (Ghana), Windhoek (Namibia), Nairobi (Kenya), Lagos (Nigeria) and Johannesburg (South Africa) and again forms part of Channel O’s commitment to unearthing Africa’s hidden cultural and entertainment gems.

“Dance is a powerful part of the music and entertainment that we present on Channel O and it’s no secret that the continent is home to some amazingly creative dancers. Dance Africa was a big success in its first season and we’re very excited about partnering with the long-established Dance Umbrella to give real meaning to our search in season 2,” says Yolisa Phahle, Channel O’s General Manager.

The winner of Channel O’s Dance Africa search will receive $10 000 in cash and be trained by the Johannesburg-based Dance Umbrella, an annual dance festival that celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2008. Whoever triumphs will also have the chance to perform at the 2008 Channel O Video Music Awards, giving them a platform to showcase their abilities before the who’s who of the African entertainment industry.

The first six episodes of Dance Africa will focus on the preliminary rounds in each city, where just three dancers will be chosen to represent their country at the final to be held in Johannesburg. A panel of local industry experts (DJs, musicians, dancers) along with the show’s choreographer will select the regional winners who will be given just one minute to show off a freestyle routine on a club dance floor.

Viewers at home are also part of the action – in a regular segment (“You Own The Floor”) they will be shown some tasty moves by the show’s in-house choreographer and regular appearances by some of the continent’s top music acts will add to the show’s appeal.

Episodes 8 to 13 will see two dancers sent packing each week, following a number of challenges and dance-offs. In the end, just eight hopefuls will remain to show just why they should be crowned Africa’s freestyle dance king or queen – and they will be put through some serious paces (including choreographed sequences and freestyle showdowns) so that even those who are eliminated gain some serious skills along the way.

Dance Africa will once again be presented by Lungsta, who will be traipsing through the six countries, on the hunt for someone with all the right moves – and a sprinkling of magic to earn them this highly-coveted crown. Only individuals over the age of 18 will be allowed to take part in Dance Africa.

Details of the auditions will be available on www.channelo.co.za For more information contact Lester Din on Lester.Din@mnet.co.za or Yolisa Phahle on Yolisa.Phahle@mnet.co.za




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