Jazzart Dance Theatre’s Three-Year Artistic Development Programme gives young people the opportunity to be trained in contemporary dance in a way that will enable them to carve careers out of dance. With its philosophy firmly rooted in a social justice framework, Jazzart actively recruits trainees from marginalised communities where the youth may otherwise not have access to the performing arts as a career option.
Criteria and requirements for participation in auditions:
- Completion of Grade 12 before or by January 2019
- ID card/book
- 2 x ID photographs
- Comfortable clothing (tracksuit pants, leotards, T-shirts, socks)
This programme was previously seen as a bridging course for youth who completed their matriculation certificate and sought to move into the creative economy. The organisation acknowledges the need to accredit the training programme and is currently exploring ways to formally accredit and certificate it.
Trainees have a full schedule from Monday to Friday, with occasional after-hours events and performances scheduled as well, testing their dedication, commitment and seriousness as developing artists. Highly experienced teachers and professional dancers make up the teaching teams, where trainees are put through a holistic skills development programme, in a creative and safe space. The programme addresses not only the technical skills in contemporary dance, teaching and choreography, but also professionalism, punctuality, commitment and communication. Training is also taken outside of the studio, with exposure to seminars, exhibitions, exchange programmes, outreach, lecture demonstrations and theatre experiences.
The foundation of the training curriculum is the Jazzart technique, developing skills in improvisation, contact improvisation, release technique, chair, floor and rhythm work. The principles informing the training are rooted in social cohesion, inclusive spaces and transformation, in order to equip trainees to be cultural ambassadors, using the power of dance.
The training programme is donor-funded and the trainees are selected based on a panel selection, following extensive auditions. Trainees are expected to show dedication, willingness to learn, respect for their peers and teachers, have a strong work ethic and act as ambassadors of the Jazzart philosophy through their artistry and activities. Over and above, the dancers must show potential as performers and embody the values of discipline, bold creativity and social responsibility.