Botswana dance ensemble “Mophato Dance Theatre” continues to break the music dreads through excellence and perseverance. The youthful group is the brainchild of Andrew Kola who was inspired to set up the dance troupe after receiving dance training in South Africa.Molepolole born Kola is a former lead dancer of the renowned traditional dance group - Mogwana. Kola is the main man behind all the success that the group has realised from choreography to master classes.Kola says that establishing the group was a daunting task as he could not explain his ideas to the recruits he had in mind back in 2009.
“I was not only faced with a challenge to execute my ideas but once the group was ready for performance, Batswana believed we were foreign to them because they could not relate to a new concept altogether besides traditional dancing,” he added.“The group focuses on contemporary dance theatre but we have dances and vocals done in other genres such as “pantsola” dance and Hip Hop,” explains Kola. He adds that the dance movements he comes up with always tell a story. Among other things the group has master classes for different categories of dancers who come to them for training.
“We are trying by all means to bridge the gap between professional dancing agenda and amateur dancing by providing technical assistance to those that come to us for help,” he says. Although they are a dance theatre group they have performers who every now and then are given chanting roles. “A singing talent in Mophato is an added advantage for those that come for auditions because we incorporate dance with song to narrate a story better,” says Kola.“I want Mophato to be able to stand the tests and trials of time, I hate trends I do not want the group to become a trendsetter and then vanish into thin air”.
Kola maintains discipline instilling in his youthful dancers by having one on one speaking sessions with them the moment they show unwanted character. Kola’s choreography has taken the group on national branding and identity missions to countries such as the United States of America and Germany. “The group works hand in hand with Botswana Tourism Organisation and recently we travelled to New York to showcase the beauty of Botswana tourism and we did that in a dance form,” says the group director. Other international achievements of the group include performing at the Shanghai Expo in China, and collaborating with Jeremy Haven on a production intended to promote the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.