Established in 2007, iKapa Dance Theatre is built around artistic contemporary dance excellence and advanced dance training for a diverse group of South African performers. Empowering people through dance is the driving force of iKapa. The organisation has always looked for ways to inspire and motivate its dancers, learners, audiences and public.
iKapa Dance’s broad vision was built around empowerment through dance. This ambition has steered the company into creating productions that are socially relevant and communicate issues affecting all South Africans, with a focus on youth impact.
iKapa’s executive director, Theo Ndindwa, a skilled dance artist with extensive national and international experience, returned to South Africa in 2005 after refining his technical and choreographic skills in the United Kingdom. Having grown up in the historically disadvantaged community of Gugulethu and being afforded a successful career through dance, Theo’s personal experience motivates his desire to give back to disadvantaged communities and contribute positively to the social environment of his homeland.
Director Tanya Arshamian also trained extensively in the UK and is an accomplished ballet and contemporary dancer. Among other accolades, Ms. Arshamian competed in the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition after completing her training at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London.
iKapa Dance Theatre is an African, neo-classical, contemporary dance company. As a Non-Profit Organisation that develops talent and provides real opportunities for employment, iKapa aims to enrich its community both artistically and socially. iKapa operates a professional company, apprenticeship program, a youth dance theatre, commercial adult classes and a training and outreach (T&O) school catering to underprivileged youth.
Children in the T&O programme learn an appreciation of arts and culture while being inspired to realise their potential. With the T&O currently established in Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Philippi and New Crossroads, over 200 children are reached annually. Star students from the T&O schools are provided with intensive training during additional lessons, which eventually leads to membership in the iKapa Youth Dance Theatre. Apprentices are selected from the Youth Dance Theatre to join the three-year full-time training programme, readying them for employment opportunities either within the professional company or within the broader South African arts field. The members of the professional company teach in the T&O programme, while simultaneously educating and entertaining both local and international audiences.
iKapa Dance Theatre caters to the social development of its students and members through additional programmes, such as an annual career fair and an on-going nutritional development programme. Along with guest teachers and visitors from across the globe, all the programmes aim to provide disadvantaged youth with invaluable skills and knowledge.
iKapa is currently investigating the expansion and use of a suitable new home which will accommodate and inspire the development of its iKapa’s Home for Art and its various Youth Dance Development activities.
GOALS and OBJECTIVES OF IKAPA’S YOUTH DANCE DEVELOPMENT & HOME FOR ART
• Transformation: Uses the arts as a vehicle for social transformation via educational empowerment of South Africa’s disadvantaged youth.
• Youth Development: Promotes the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing through dedicated dance training programmes taught by industry professionals.
• Equity & Redress: Provides a platform for culturally diverse high-quality artistic creation and skills-development, as well as skills development.
• Artistic Innovation and Arts Promotion: Fosters and enhances an appreciation of the performing arts through accessible, affordable and relevant locally produced productions for a wide-ranging audience.
• Preservation and Development in the Arts: Develops cross-cultural learning through relationships with national and international organisations.
• Job Creation: Operates a school for talented South African youth from all social and racial backgrounds that groom its students for careers in professional dance and arts administration.
iKAPA’S YOUTH DANCE DEVELOPMENT & HOME FOR ART OVERVIEW
iKapa utilises artistic excellence in dance as a mechanism to create socially relevant, publicly engaging, audience centered performance’s that utilise social trends around current issues, in ways that are entertaining, inspiring and installs appreciation for innovative artistic creations and performances.
iKapa uses Dance to positively contribute to the development, redress and upliftment of youths in the communities of Cape Town though artistic training and life skills development that is accessible and affordable to all.
To achieve the goals of the project the following activities have been designed:
• Professional company: creates and stages unique, educational and world-class dance theatre productions. Exposing existing and new audiences throughout South Africa
• Youth Dance Theatre and Apprenticeship program: platforms for cultural integration and refining technical, performance and vocational employment skills for aspiring young artists.
• Training and Outreach School: develops and empowers the youth in the previously disadvantaged communities of Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Philippi and Crossroads.
• OnPointe Dance Studio: provides commercial adult open dance classes to the wider public. The studio generates income for the organisation and develops a support base for audience development.
• Transformation of Arts Administration and Arts Management: a platform for employee & organisational development, through skills transfer and training support.
• iKapa “Out-House sessions”: a platform for a monthly informal gathering at the iKapa Dance Space, inviting the public to a creative and interactive evening. IKapa Dance Theatre and local artists present short performances. These “Out-House” sessions stabilize and consolidate grassroots organizations and take diverse artistic creations to public spaces in communities across Cape Town.
• iKapa Dance Home for Art: provides a space for artists, choreographies, residencies, collaborations, productions and exhibitions to be created /showcased. The home aims to celebrate new work, innovative art and allow artists from all over the Western Cape to have a platform to strengthen and grow the arts, culture and heritage sector of South Africa. It is the base for iKapa Youth Dance Development activities.
• Youth Development Centre: an area for all Arts & Culture activities to take place under one umbrella, providing skills and teaching to all involved. This is a space of safety, learning, empowerment and education.