A social agent of change

Celebrated choreographer and dancer, Musa Hlatshwayo, has toured extensively across Africa, Europe and the Americas, receiving numerous awards and accolades along the way. He has been awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance 2017 in recognition of a professional practice that is as focused on creative rigour as it is invested in grassroots community development work.

SBYA 2018 ­  Musa Hlatshwayo was born and raised in Maphumulo in KwaZulu-Natal. He holds a BA (Hons) in Performance Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), a Dance and Choreography Diploma from the Copenhagen School of Modern Dance (Denmark), a Postgraduate Certificate in Dance in Education from UKZN, and a BA in Media and Communication from UKZN.
­ ­  Hlatshwayo is a performing artist, choreographer and director who works under Mhayise Productions – his own initiative – as well as the Movement Laboratory, his own training programme. He has appeared with various local and international dance and theatre companies, including Flatfoot Dance Company (where he began his dance training), Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, Lebohang Dance Theatre, First Physical Theatre Company, Moving Hands Theatre Company and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the UK. He was FNB Vita’s Most Promising Male Contemporary Dancer in 2001 and was KZN Dancelink and Durban Dance Awards’ Best performer for the year 2004/5, is currently KZN Dancelink’s Choreographer of the Year for 2008/2009 and was awarded the Eric Shabalala Contemporary Dance Champion Award at JOMBA! In 2016.

It is an opportunity for the spotlight to shine on the dance sector in KZN and an opportunity for us to be seen for what we stand for, what we are capable of and what we should be received as; social scientists and agents of change

SBYA 2018

This opportunity offers me an opportunity to create and stage work that will hopefully address the socio-political ills that we are currently going through

­  Speaking of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award, Hlatshwayo says, ‘This opportunity offers me an opportunity to create and stage work that will hopefully address the socio-political ills that we are currently going through, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, without forgetting to celebrate and embrace that which we are successfully achieving and thriving for as South Africans. This is an opportunity for my artistic voice as a young black man from rural Maphumulo, to continue being heard and perhaps to be introduced to a wider audience. I also take it as a challenge and an invitation for me to stand taller, speak louder and walk bolder towards a wider global community that associates with Standard Bank as a brand as well as the National Arts Festival as a platform for world-class critical arts.
­  ‘This is also a chance for me to represent the dance sector and perhaps to invite the attention and intervention of a wider community of contributors to the state of dance and the role of the dance makers, particularly in the province and the communities where I come from. It is an opportunity for the spotlight to shine on the dance sector in KZN and an opportunity for us to be seen for what we stand for, what we are capable of and what we should be received as; social scientists and agents of change.’

Meet all of the #SBYA2018 award winners:

Chuma Sopotela (Performance Art) The future is too bright!
Guy Buttery (Music) A national treasure
Igshaan Adams (Visual Art) Achieving the unachievable
Jemma Kahn (Theatre) ’The box lady’
Musa Hlatshwayo (Dance) A social agent of change
Thandi Ntuli (Jazz) A different level of operating

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