The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, recently visited DUT’s Department of Drama and Production Studies where issues concerning the arts, cultural exchanges and best practices were discussed.
This consulate’s delegation consisted of Michael Blanco, Dance Motion USA Project Director; Mark Carr, Public Affairs Officer in the Consulate as well as Skhumbuzo Majola, Media and Culture Assistant at the Consulate.
Dance Motion USASM is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State which is produced by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to facilitate cultural exchanges while showcasing the best in contemporary American dance abroad. BAM works with US embassies to establish partnerships with leading cultural, social service, community organisations and educational institutions; creating unique residencies that allow for cultural sharing and engagement.
Dance Motion USA also promotes and fosters international dialogue about the arts with administrators and technical theatre professionals. Through roundtable discussions and training workshops, program participants share best practices and offer ideas based on each specific country’s situation- considering factors of environment, funding, education and resources- and in the process, establish a network of global colleagues.
“The purpose of this visit by the US Consulate was to provide background information on the Dance Motion USA Priority Projects/Programs abroad. BAM is looking for an institution in South African to work with. The main focus area is Contemporary Dance, although not exclusively,” said Stephen van Dyk, DUT Drama and Production Studies Department acting Head of Department.
Michael Blanco, Dance Motion USA Project Director said the organisation wants to build a partnership with participating dance companies and engage in residencies abroad where the organisation will provide workshops and outreach events, lead master classes for local dancers, participate in collaborative creative sessions with local artists and offer public performances and artist discussions to facilitate greater communication and understanding.
– Sihle Ndebele
Pictured: A still from one of many productions produced by the DUT Department of Drama and Production Studies which has earned it (the Department) industry recognition on the work that it does.
– Picture credit: Val Adamson