ZIVA Youth is the youth section of the dance company who are based in North East London but train at the local Leyton Sixth Form College. The company offers free dance training for young people aged 14-19 and each week the young dancers learn elements of artistic director Bawren Tavaziva's unique synthesis of ballet, contemporary and African dance which is highly energetic, intricate and physically challenging.
Dancers on the night were; Taya Ming, Marta Swierczynska, Deneille Percival, Deena Smith and Georgia Morton and they performed a piece entitled 'Happiness and Joy' with traditional music written specifically for the dance called HONGU (Zimbabwean Shona word meaning ‘To bend your head or body forward, especially as a way of showing respect’).
Learning and Participation Manager for Tavaziva, Kathleen Murphy, said afterwards: “That was fantastic tonight! Thank you so much for giving Ziva Youth the opportunity to perform. The young people were all so proud of themselves!” And Project Leader and co-choreographer, Anna Watkins commented, “I just want to say thank you again for giving our youth dancers such an amazing experience. They really enjoyed the whole evening and the support from Leyton Orient has just been fantastic. We hope we can repeat it all next year!”
It’s the second time Tavaziva Dance have performed on the Orient pitch, repeating the experience of a couple of seasons ago. Howard Gould, the O’s Community Liaison Officer, said, “As part of our ongoing commitment to engage with the local community, our association with Leyton Sixth Form College and consequently Tavaziva Dance is just an example of how diversity can be embraced and opportunities arise. We’re really pleased to have been able to host the young dancers again and allow them to show off their talents”.
ZIVA Youth have also recently performed at the Place, Haringey Arts Festival and at The Lift Off Festival Gala in Bracknell and rehearsals take place at Leyton Sixth Form College. For more information on Tavaziva Dance, please go to the website www.tavazivadance.com