Wildlife and nature take a back seat as Botswana showcases cultural tourism
The countdown to staging ‘I love Botswana ensemble’s’ musical extravaganza Pula on Broadway has finally begun. The troupe left the country to perform in Times Square, New York from the 22nd to 23rd August, 2018 following a majestic sendoff by the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) in partnership with the Avani Hotel last week. While in the Big Apple the ensemble will make an appearance at the annual Battery Dance Festival and stage as a special performance in Washington DC in an effort to showcase Botswana’s rich culture, heritage and performing arts. I Love Botswana has previously represented and raised the Botswana flag in Germany and the US.
Director of the pioneering ensemble, Andrew Kola said the pressure was immense but expects that the hard work they have put in over the past month in preparation will be seen on the world famous stage.
“We have been rehearsing for more than a month now, from 9 am until 5pm everyday. It was not an easy task to incorporate all the dance moves because the ensemble is a collaborative assortment of seven groups. All these groups have different artistic backgrounds and personalities, but we did a great a job of merging all these to produce our masterpiece which is the “Pula” production,” Kola proudly said.
Kola explained that they are mentally preparing the dancers for the Broadway stage and its rigorous expectations. Theatrical productions on Broadway are believed to be the best in the world and each year they compete for the coveted Tony Awards, the highest accolade in stage performance. “The pressure is on to produce only the best and we believe what we are going to showcase is very competitive. The plan is to go all out. We have since added more exciting dance moves to our choreography and sourced captivating costumes from the most creative designers for this production,” revealed the director.
Broadway is a multi-billion Dollar network of the largest theaters in the world which connects productions to audiences, agents and promoters to partner, stage or buy shows. In 2010, Broadway shows sold more than $1 billion in tickets and the most popular and profitable shows often run for years.
“The plan is to leave a legacy in New York and hopefully introduce our young and talented dancers to the world. The creative industry here at home is tough, many have given up on this journey so this is a big break for us. My dream is that the New York staging will launch the careers of many of our dancers so they can spread their wings,” Kola concluded.
General Manager of Avani Hotel, Riaan van Rooyen said they are passionate about the creative industries and the troupe’s trip to the Big Apple was an exciting opportunity they had to be a part of. “If you were to talk to any international tourist about Botswana, the first thing they will mention is the game viewing and all the natural attractions. But there is something far more important, that is our people. They are the ones writing the history and are key for the success of our economy by proving that Africa has much more to offer,” he concluded.