…Good evening to all of you who are still with us, and welcome back to the most prestigious dance competition in Africa, which is also one of the most popular in the whole world.
Today we will enjoy in watching the last competition from this year´s edition of “African Dance Show“, super final of the Spiritual Dance Cup, that will take place in the beautiful and modern capital of former Republic of Botswana, nowadays Province of Kalahari (in the southern Africa region), in the Cultural & Trade Center in Gaborone, that was built just three years ago, as a result of the win of their dance competition group “Skies of Kalahari“, with their impressive Traditional Dance performance five years ago in the city of Nairobi, capital of the east African Province of Victoria.
Before the super final of today´s competition starts, we will explain to all of our viewers who are still not yet familiar with the rules of this competition or its history.
In general, there are three main dance competitions taking place at the end of each year, in three different provinces all around the African continent. Competitions are taking place in a form of Traditional, Modern and Spiritual Dance Cups.
Preliminary, provincial competitions start early, in the first half of the year, that are followed by qualification rounds in four big divisions: Division Sahara (North Africa), Division Gold Coast (West Africa), Division Victoria (Central/East Africa) and Division Kalahari (South Africa), from where the best 216 dance groups advance to the quarter finals (that are followed by semifinals and the super final), that take place at three different locations, as I previously mentioned.
There is no limit how many competitors can apply or qualify for the competitions from the same province, but there are rules of how many competitors can compete from each of the mentioned four regional divisions. Every year is different, but in general it depends on how many applicants were in every division, as well as how good performance competitors had in the previous year/s in the Dance Cups (qualification round, quarterfinal, semifinal, super final), i.e. it depends on the ranks that each province gets after each years competitions. Winners of each of the three superfinals get the most points, which are followed by other five super finalists, then come 30 semifinalists, 180 quarter finalists and so on.
The final stage of each of the Dance Cups is organised as a one month competition, starting from quarter finals that take place in the first three weeks of the month, in which there are three quarter finals per day (each of them have six competitors, and only one can be the winner), followed by draw for the places in semifinals and days of rest, then comes semifinals organized in three days with two competition groups per day, and then comes the super final.
In each of these levels and competition groups there are twelve professional judges, i.e. the jury that grades the competitors and decides about the winner. Important rule is that it is not allowed for the judge to come from the same province as the competitor/s in the same competition group, to avoid possible corruption and nepotism.
And like for many other dance competitions around the world, the final score of the performance of every competitor is graded according to some basic dance elements, that looks like this:
- Technique (Turns, Leaps, Placement, Control Strength) 40 Points
- Performance / Showmanship (Energy, Personality, Eye Contact, Poise) 30 Points
- Costume / Appearance (Style, Originality, Creativity, Neatness) 10 Points
- Choreography / Staging (Variety, Transitions, Creativity, Originality) 10 Points
- Overall Impression 10 Points
So, in general, you can get as maximum of 100 points for performance from every judge that is the member of the final competition jury. This year there are 36 professional dance judges coming from different African provinces that had examined all the performances, from quarterfinals to semifinals (organised in groups of twelve judges per competition group), and tonight, they will have the most difficult task, to examine and grade the best six competitors in tonight´s Spiritual Dance Cup super final, to chose this year´s winner.
Each of the six super finalists will have a maximum of twelve minutes to make their performance, that consists of basic spiritual elements like meditation, shamanism and other spiritual dance moves along with some traditional and modern dance elements, which were allowed in the last two years, just to make competition much more interesting and diverse.
After all the six super finalists will be over with their performances, the judges of the jury will have more time to evaluate their grades for every competitor, and in the break, we will observe a special guest dance show.
After the break, each of the twelve judges will declare how many points they had given to each of the six competitors. Scoring will, of course, be live, so we will watch intensly what will happen with the current scores on the big holographic screen in the TV studio.
The performance and its performers with the best score will be crowned the champion of this year´s Spiritual Dance Cup.
Winner will receive a Dreams of Africa crown, along with cash prizes for each competitor. Dreams of Africa is a motto of all of this year´s dance competitions.
The thing that is special with all of these competition series (Traditional, Modern and Spiritual Dance Cups) is that the winner announces to which important local project the big cash prize provided by the sponsors of this competition will be going.
One of the main reasons for starting this competition was not only in helping people of Africa to compete in a form of art that they like the most (along with music), but to provide funds to build, for ex. a new educational, cultural, sport, science centre etc.
So, if the winner of one competition comes from ex. Kalahari Province, than the winner can decide to invest the prize money in for ex., building a big educational and cultural centre that will help local people to participate in a professional education/art classes and projects, as well as to find or make new jobs in a war and poverty affected African countries, like it happened five years ago, when the dance group “Skies of Kalahari” won Traditional Dance Cup, and decided to invest the sponsor’s prize money in building this magnificent Cultural & Trade Center in Gaborone, where we are now, and which I mentioned at the beginning of this introduction to the competition.
The strict rules of the competition are monitoring where and how the funds are being spend, so that the possible corruption of the province government that gets the funds don´t interfere with the planned building project. For that reason, the project is being monitored by an international group of people and companies from all around the world.
Also, during this year´s Spiritual Dance Cup competition, in many places around Gaborone, there is an ongoing multidisciplinary (science-arts-spirituality-sport-economy) fair, where exhibitors from all around the Africa, and some other world countries are holding lectures, conferences, art shows, spiritual exercises, trades etc., and the part of the money that is spend there goes to many big and small exhibitors (for ex. to many small artisan businesses that make traditional African artworks) as well as for the projects that are taking place in the city of Gaborone and the whole Kalahari Province.
Now, that I have summarized what is going on in here, we can get involved in the super final show that is just about to begin.
First dance group, first super finalist that will come out on the dance floor is “Zakazaka Butterflies” from the city of Zomba in Province of Malawi (southern Africa region). They have prepared for today combination of traditional Zulu shaman dances and R&B music, along with some modern breakdance moves.
Let´s see how will they perform today…
HOW THE STORY WAS MADE…
…To make this short story (a part of the Sci ArT KISS Project…) about the modern dance competition in Africa, I had to use two areas, one from science and one from the world of art:
Science>Social Science>Business studies>Economics>Development Economics
Arts>Performing Arts>Dance>Free & Improvised Dance>Ecstatic Dance
Sources that I have used to make this story:
Development Economics (Wiki)
Ecstatic Dance (Wiki)
African Dance (Wiki)
Top 10 Best Traditional African Dances by 2nacheki (YouTube)
Development Economics by Marginal Revolution University (YouTube)
(Cover Image & Source: The History of African Dance @ Flodance)