CityLife Arts

Young choreographers Oscar Buthelezi and Sunnyboy Motau climb another stage at Moving Into Dance in Newtown, Johannesburg

BY Edward Tsumele

The world of dance has opened another chapter for the dance careers of two of the country’s hugely talented choreographers and dancers, Sunnyboy Mandla Motau Ntuli and Oscar Nhlanhla Buthelezi. Both of them have been announced as the joint Associate Artistic Directors of Moving Into Dance (MID), the Newtown based dance institution  started by retired dance teacher and choreographer Sylvia ‘Magogo’ Glasser. Sunny Boy and Oscar as they are fondly called in dance circles are not new to Moving Into Dance as both of them, like many other contemporary dancers, choreographers and dance teachers populating the dance space in South Africa, honed their dance skills at MID.

MID  Chairperson, Hilton Lawler had this to say about the new appointments: “The nurturing of African leaders is part of MID’s mission, and this appointment speaks to the organic development of Sunnyboy and Oscar who are now ready to move this organisation into a new creative era.”

Both artists are seasoned dance professionals whoe dance exploits and tentacles spread from Johannesburg to overseas where they have made huge impressions with dance audiences and have flown the South African flag high. They both however have not forgotten  their humble beginnings as they continue to go back and work within their respective communities, Motau in Alexndra and Buthelezi in Vosloorus, where they plough back by teaching dance.

 “If I could say it in words, then there would be no reason to dance. At MID I have grown to be a responsible, artistic being and a leader. I have learnt to master not only movement and choreography but the teaching and development of dance entrepreneurs through my 13 years at here. This appointment is another milestone for me as I continue to grow the MID name as an Associate Artistic Director,” Motau says about his new rise in rank and responsibilities in dance.

Buthelezi’s story of humble beginnings and rising to the top of the dance world is as inspirational as that of his fellow joint Associate Artistic Director, Motau.

Having joined MID as a student in 2010, he now has two International Choreography awards under his belt (The Kurt Jooss Choreography Award in 2016 and The Hannover 33 Choreography Competition in 2019), and is a widely commissioned choreographer. His most valued choreographic achievement would be “The Color Purple” for which he won a Naledi Award in 2019. Hailing from Vosloorus Buthelezi continues to teach traditional dance in his community and is the lead facilitator for Indlamu at MID.

“Thank you so much to everyone who saw value in me for the joint position of Associate Artistic Director. I feel so honoured and humbled by this position and the responsibility given. I am open to learn and also give my all to bring colour, shape and more success to the MID dance company and see MID take the world by storm. Power to MID!,,” he says.

Nadia Virasamy, Chief Executive Officer  of MID has this to say about the two young choreographers, “I feel honoured that in my time at MID I have seen these young men begin their training at MID and now fill a position that so many aspire to but few achieve. Well done Sunnyboy and Oscar; your hard work, commitment and loyalty has been rewarded.”

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