BULAWAYOa��s most travelled ensemble Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) are back in the country after their successful four months tour of Europe.
Despite touring the world for almost two decades now, Iyasa founder and director Nkululeko Dube revealed that the tour was different as they have learnt a lot from it in as far as the new African arts market dynamics and performances are concerned.
B-Metro caught up with the Iyasa boss and compiled this report.
Q: Would you kindly brief us about the tour?
A: The tour was a great success. To us it has become part of our yearly programme and we are always happy to do well in the various international projects. The highlight for 2018 was that we managed to bring together our artistes from Germany and those working in Austria for combined performances in the Czech Republic. The audiences loved the energy and charisma brought about by the numbers on stage, in all I can say it had a positive difference and lessons.
Q: Are you satisfied with the current crop of Iyasa as compared to those who graduated in terms of performance deliverance especially regarding the tour you had recently?
A: Each generation we produce at Iyasa is different from their predecessors. Expectations from each of the artistes change every day and I am happy with the artistesa�� performances. We have less time in the rehearsal room compared to previous years because of high demand to be out there showcasing our creativity but in most of the performances on tour we have done very well. I do believe, however, that the standards of performance can be improved without any doubt.
Q: What did you learn as Iyasa from the tour?
A: From this year I take away the fact that the international market slowly gets flooded with African artistic exports and therefore to make it you need to be of really high standards. I also think the traditional African arts are evolving in terms of how one needs to present Africa to the world.A� Artistes basically need to be innovative, promoters do not buy products because they are from Africa but because they tell a true story and that they are a good reflection of Africa, its people and its culture. The touristic images are no longer marketable.
Q: Is there another international tour on the cards for this year?
A: Yes, there is and we will reveal details soon. From September to November we are returning to Austria for a project entitled Radio Freedom which is a co-production with an Austrian company, Theater Ansicht.