It is very rare to have creativity and accuracy wrapped in one packet but Zimbabwean-based M&Ms Dance Factory had it all in performances held on Friday and Saturday at Blantyre Sports Club in Blantyre.
Poor organisation, late-coming performers and guests of honour may be traits that possibly depict the conduct of local events but the Zimbabwean organisers showed that it is possible to hold performances without these irritations.
There was no ‘Malawian time’ on Friday and Saturday. ‘Malawian time’ is a term used when an event slated for 9:00 am starts at 10:00 am.
For instance, on Saturday at Malawi Writers Union (Mawu)/ FMB Awards presentation ceremony held in Blantyre, the guest of honour, who was supposed to be at the venue at 1:40 pm, came at 05:15 pm.
Another example is the disorganisation that marred a mega gospel music festival held in Salima last of last week. The festival, which was scheduled to start on Friday through to Sunday, was so poorly organised that it started Saturday evening. These are typical examples of ‘Malawian time’.
However, this was not the case with the Zimbabwean dancers, who set their stage on Thursday morning and decorated it with vinyl records and some old school disco lights— not to mention costumes used by the dancers. Surely, people who had attended such discos in the 80s could easily be trapped in their past.
The Saturday event was expected to start at 7:30 pm but the audience was seated by 7:00 pm. At exactly 7:25 pm, the stage curtains of Blantyre Sports Club were opened and every dancer on the first dancing slot was in position ready to rock and roll.
On the left side of the stage was an eager DJ ready to sway the patrons in his favour. And at exactly 7:30 pm, the DJ had already turned on the music and the dancers were executing their dance moves. They were professional dancers whose passion for dancing had gone beyond passion.
In an interview with The Daily Times, show director and organiser, Mitzi Carruthers, said, to them, dance is their career.
“Our [Mitzi and her daughter] dance company teaches various dance genres in Zimbabwe and holds shows like these,” she said.
Based on the huge number of people that attended the show, Carruthers said the dancers would be back in May.
“We didn’t expect to have such a huge audience. Malawians have supported us beyond our expectations. We will even include more Malawian dancers in May [next year],” she said.
Unlike local events where people take pictures of performers anyhow, the audience members were well disciplined. The audience could only take pictures from where they were seated.
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