ONE of this country's most talented dancers, Fana Tshabalala, has been awarded a prestigious arts residency in France.
Tshabalala, who is Moving into Dance Mophatong's senior dancer, will join well-known French choreographer Michel Kelemenis's company Compagnie Plaisir d'Offrir in Marseille later this month.
This exchange follows a successful collaboration this year between Kelemenis and Moving into Dance, which resulted in the recreation of Besame Mucho - Kiss Me Much, which premiered at the Dance Umbrella earlier this year.
Keleminis will choreograph a solo for Tshabalala, which he will perform next year when he returns to South Africa.
Tshabalala joined the dance group in 2006 as a student. In 2007 he furthered his dance training and was accepted into the Professional Dance Company in 2008.
He also had an opportunity to learn and perform the company's repertoire, including Blankets of Shame and Threads by Sylvia Glasser (Moving into Dance founder and artistic director) - and Flesh by Gregory Maqoma, a former Moving into Dance member and now celebrated dancer and choreographer.
On hearing the news an excited Tshabalala said: "I feel honoured by this exchange, my dance and choreographic skills will be further developed. My thanks to Moving into Dance and the French Institute for this opportunity, it will give me a chance to explore other types of dance styles. I am also proud to be an ambassador for South African dancers."
Tshabalala's exchange has been made possible by The French Institute of South Africa, the French Embassy and Keleminis' company Compagnie Plaisir d'Offrir.
You can catch Fana Tshabalala in Besame Mucho - Kiss Me Much at the Wits Theatre from October 21 to October 25.