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Preliminaries for the Harare province Jibilika dance festival are on this weekend.

To date a total of 12 crews have registered for participation in the annual spectacle for the preliminaries to be held in the capital.

Festival projects director Plot Mhako told Cool Lifestyle that all is going according to plan.

“To date a total of 12 crews have registered participation in the event and we expect the festival to be a success since we have matured through the years,” he said.

The festival that has become a favourite among teens on the entertainment calendar will be running under the theme “Urban Roots”.

Mhako said audiences are in for a treat this year as the festival will be a fusion of African and European styles.

“The festival will present a rare fusion of two cultures and two generations. For example a mix of breakdance and Jerusarema,” he said.

He said a new structure has been put in place to increase the scope of the festival.

“We have set up a new system which will be conducive to all the dancers and eight provincial preliminaries will proceed to the grand finale,” said Mhako.

According to the rules each provincial final will select two groups to represent the province.

The crews will be tasked to create a dance piece that fuses traditional dances that represent their province and urban dances.

Mhako added that the goal for the festival is to get young people to know and appreciate their culture through dancing.

“Young people need to preserve culture and at the same time giving them the liberty to be creative and use their own preferred art form thus creating a unique dance style.

“We have a generation that is fast loosing identity and our culture continues to be eroded as young people adopt foreign cultures, said Mhako the co founder of Jibilika.

He said the festival falls during the April holidays so that school children are given the opportunity to showcase their talents and get time to rehearse.

“In view of this development we seek to encourage young people to remain rooted in our traditional culture at the same time shining in the urban forms.

“The drive will not only impact on dancers only but also the various communities they reside in and the general audience.”

Jibilika Dance Festival is in its seventh year running and seeks to merge and celebrate traditional and urban dance cultures and promote dance as a vehicle for youth, talent development and a platform for recreation.

A total of eight preliminaries will be held around the country to increase the scope of the festival ahead of the grand finale which will be held later this year.

Source : The Herald