UPDATE: One more performance added, Saturday August 28 at 8 pm at Artword Theatre. Tickets $20. Call 416-408-1146 for reservations.

 Press Release: For Immediate Release August 16, 2004

Mogwana Dance Company from Botswana
appearing at Artword Theatre

The renowned Botswana dance company, Mogwana, will appear this week at Artword Theatre, from Wednesday, August 18 until Sunday August 22, Wednesday to Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. Artword Theatre is located at 75 Portland Street (one block east of Bathurst, South of King).

The internationally known company is appearing for a week instead of the IYASA company from Zimbabwe, whose arrival has been delayed. The producer, Traditional Traditions, and Artword Theatre are delighted to present such a distinguished company. Once IYASA arrives, the two companies will share the stage.

Mogwana is on tour in Canada, and has just finished some performances at Harbourfront, and an appearance on Aboriginal Voices Radio (106.5 FM), which were very well received.

Mogwana is composed of youths and adults and is based in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. The group specializes in traditional music, song and dance of indigenous ethnic groups of Botswana and Southern Africa in general.

The group was founded in 1991, during the Botswana Silver Jubilee. Its aim was to bring all the Botswana dances together from different parts of the country. The group was formed with experienced dancers and administrators, who then did research and visited different regions to bring together all the cultural dances of Botswana. The company carries out continual recruitment of members throughout the country.

Mogwana’s performances broke through the isolation of dancers in Botswana, who were not aware of each other’s work. The result within the country was a great surge in popularity for traditional dance. Many groups were formed that performed dances from other regions, thanks to the influence of Mogwana. From local entertainment, Botswana dance has become a major tourist attraction, promoted by the government, and a source of pride and income to the country. All this is ultimately thanks to the pioneering work of Mogwana.

Nowadays, Mogwana has turned its attention from collecting the dances to some of the key issues that face the country, such as the environment, teenage delinquency and HIV/AIDS. They have travelled internationally to the People’s Republic of China, the USA, Southern Africa, West Africa, and now Canada.

The touring company is made up of 12 performers. The performances are a powerful combination of dancing, rich harmony singing, intricate hand-clapping and foot movement, leg rattles, and the playing of traditional instruments.

 For more information about Mogwana, telephone Debbie Mosidi, 416-537-1969 or Mac Masuku at Traditional Traditions, 416-239-2057, or contact Artword Theatre (Judith Sandiford), 416-408-1146.

For additional details about Mogwana, and photos of the company, see