World-class dance event taps into Johannesburg

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Rubén Sánchez García
Rubén Sánchez García

World-renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher Rubén Sánchez García will be visiting South Africa for the first time in August.

Sánchez García will be headlining The Red Convention – a four-day dance experience to be held in Johannesburg.

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Sánchez started dancing at the age of 6 and is trained in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz and ballroom; however, he is most widely recognised for his tap dancing. He has performed and taught all over the world and is currently a soloist tap dancer at the Centre Coreographique National de Grenoble in France, as well as a teacher at the Luthier Tap Dance Formation in Barcelona.

The Red Convention, which is in its first year, focusses primarily on tap, but also includes workshops in other dance disciplines and has been modelled around sought-after international events such as The Odessa Tap Festival, Prague City Tap Festival, Tap ON Barcelona, Paris Tap Festival and LA Tap.

Robynne Versveld
Robynne Versveld

“As South African dancers, only a handful of us ever get to experience a proper dance festival or get the opportunity to train with the top teachers in the world,” says event organiser Robynne Versfeld. “My vision is to host a world-class dance event so that as many dancers of all ages get the opportunity to be trained by the very best in the business.”

She adds that aim of the convention is also to improve the level of tap dancing in South Africa and promote the dance form.

“Tap is such a wonderful, expressive dance form and is ideal for both girls and boys.  It is hugely popular overseas and while South Africa has produced world champions over the years, the number of dancers following the discipline has declined.  Through this festival we hope to reignite a passion for tap in the local dance community,” says Versfeld.

However, she did not want to limit the experience to only tap and thus included workshops for contemporary, latin, hip-hop and jazz. These will be hosted by local award-winning dance professionals including Kelsey Middleton (contemporary); Ryan da Silva (latin); Pacou Mutombo (hip-hop) and Versfeld herself who will be taking the jazz classes.

The Red Convention offers various packages depending on your level of dance experience from beginner through to advanced.

The full package covers all four days and is fully inclusive.  All dancers will receive a welcome pack, convention T-Shirt and one meal per day. They will also get to perform in a gala performance at the end of the convention, which will be open to the public.

To accommodate dancers who cannot or do not want to attend the entire event, there are tap only packages as well as mix ‘n match packages where you can pick and choose which workshops you want to attend.

There will be guest speakers who will address topics such as performance, physical wellness and presentation including make-up and grooming.

“This convention is not meant to be just about the actual dancing. We also want to increase the knowledge about the history and art of tap, not just in the dancers who attend, but also the general public,” comments Versfeld.

The Red Convention is hosted by Red Robynne Studios and takes places from 1-4 August, 2018 at The Oak Tree Event Venue, Bedfordview. For more information or to register go to www.theredconvention.co.za or contact Robynne Versfeld on 060 656 1305.

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