Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent

THE inaugural Mafuwe International Dance Festival will go on as planned despite tomorrow’s threats of demonstrations by opposition political parties led by the MDC Alliance, event organisers have said.

Festival co-founder and organiser Plot Mhako said they were not moved by the unsanctioned protests. “We are aware of the demonstrations and conscious of what is going on, but our Friday event is being held out of Harare’s city centre at Reps Theatre in Belgravia. We will be safe,” he said.

Law enforcement agents are on high alert.

“If the protests are to spread to our venue, we have enough security to safeguard our stakeholders,” said Mhako.

Mafuwe is a contemporary dance festival that brings various regional and international dance companies to Harare from August 16 to 18. Mhako said all was set for the event.“Our international artistes are already trickling in with some from Germany and South Africa expected today (yesterday).

“We have a big South African dance company called Moving Into Dance, local outfits Jerahundi Dance Company and Gwevedzi. They will be the opening acts.

“We are quite aware of the tough circumstances in which we are holding our festival, but we remain optimistic and positive as we believe art is part of the process of rebuilding Zimbabwe and enhancing positivity in its people,” he said.

Plot said Mafuwe will also hold free workshops for local dancers.

“African contemporary dance is not really visible on the international stage except for the few companies in South Africa and Senegal. This festival is aimed at developing the dance culture; ushering it into the limelight.

“We will hold workshops on different aspects, including 3D sound for dancers so as to enhance and develop the art,” said Mafuwe co-founder Cindy Janicke.