The Life's Way - A Lifestyle and Technology Blog By Aashish Rai 

Monday, 7 September 2015

Alvin Ailey meets @TsogoSun Arts Academy All Stars #Teatro @MonteCasinoZA

Hi Guys,

The highly acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, performing at the Teatro in Montecasino from 3 to 12 September, set aside time on Saturday 5 September to run an outreach workshop with 25 lucky young performers from the Tsogo Sun Arts Academy All Stars. It was a great opportunity to hone the skills of dance in an exclusive session and once in a lifetime opportunity for these young kids and adults. 

The Arts Academy is part of Tsogo Sun’s far-reaching Citizenship programme and was launched in 2012 as a carefully designed full-year curriculum that uses the arts as the foundation for opportunities for growth and learning for children in primary and high schools in disadvantaged areas. It covers the basics of drama, dance, vocal training and voice projection, as well as a structured lifeskills course that empower the youngsters to make sound choices throughout their lives. The All Stars programme is a spin off from the Academy and is designed to give the particularly talented youngsters the opportunity to explore a future in the performing arts industry.
“The Alvin Ailey dance group is one of the world’s most popular global dance companies – and it was a phenomenal opportunity for our youngsters to interact with and learn from these world class dancers,” says Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager. She adds that the All Stars are highly motivated, hard-working and enthusiastic young performers who are already making their mark on the South African arts world. “They recently performed in a music video with top South African singer and host of Be Your Dream on DSTV’s Kyknet, Anaïs Marais. The video, Dance Like David, is a collaboration between Anaïs and Nate Butler, an award-winning American songwriter, music producer, and recording artist.”

The workshop took place on the Teatro stage and consisted of an intensive hour-and-a-half of instruction by the dancers. The All Stars are aged between 12 and 18 years and following the workshop, they were given the opportunity to have their burning questions answered in a Q&A session. Says Bryan Hill, General Manager of the Teatro at Montecasino, “It was truly heart-warming to see how awed the children were by the talent of the performers, and how inspired they were to hear about the journey of these great dancers.” 
The New York-based Alvin Ailey company has returned to South Africa after 17 years – to present 13 shows at Teatro in Montecasino and seven at Artscape in Cape Town. It started in 1958 with a ground-breaking performance that changed the perception of American dance and has been recognised by US Congressional resolution as a vital American ‘Cultural Ambassador to the World’.

The visit is led by artistic director Robert Battle who says, “Mr. Ailey said it so well; ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.’ I’m excited for audiences to share in uplifting performances, and for students to experience life-changing interactions with the world’s most amazing dancers.”
Catch the show live before you miss the same. Tsogo Sun’s portfolio includes over 90 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi. The Group operates in all segments of the hotel market from Deluxe to Budget. For further information, visit, follow on Twitter @TsogoSun or on


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