As we celebrate Africa month it’s only fitting to recognise Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) which has been uniting African cultures by creating one African dance identity and exporting to world stages for 40 years.
Before Beyoncé had a music video with Maputo’s dance group and Rihanna danced Gwaragwa at the Grammies early this year, MIDM has been taking African dance moves into theatre stages throughout the world. When the country was divided in racial and tribal lines MIDM used Afrofusion to forge one unique dance identity with which we can identify. MIDM is celebrating 40 years of existence. It was founded at the height of apartheid as one of few mixed-race dance groups by the pioneer of Afrofusion, Sylvia Glasser, in her garage. MIDM has developed into one of South Africa’s treasures as they have been exporting Contemporary African dance “Afrofusion” throughout Africa, Malaysia, Europe, South America, the USA and Canada.
Afrofusion in dance is the integration or synthesis of two or more African forms of movement expression with their roots in different traditions and with different aesthetic values. It’s based on the combination of African ritual, music, and dancing with Western forms of contemporary dance. The tradition of Moving into Dance remains Afrofusion, but the particular style of fusion develops continually as the young choreographers and teachers explore their own styles. As dance is a living expression of culture, it is in a continual state of change.
MIDM has produced a number of Standard Bank young artists of the year and talents who went on to create their own dance companies, such as Vincent Mantsoe, Moeketsi Koena, and Gregory Vuyani Maqoma.