Johaar Mosaval story comes to life at Artscape

The closing scene of Dreaming Dance in District Six: The Johaar Mosaval Story.

South African dance icon Dr Johaar Mosaval’s production, Dreaming Dance in District Six: The Johaar Mosaval Story, was staged at the Artscape Opera House last week, from Thursday March 2 to Saturday March 4.

Johaar Musaval, in the middle in front, joins the cast on stage on Thursday night.

On Thursday, which was opening night, Dr Mosaval, 95, joined the cast on stage along with Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux, co-director Basil Appollis and choreographer Grant van Ster..

Presented by the District Six Museum in association with Artscape, Dreaming Dance in District Six not only celebrates Dr Mosaval but also shines a spotlight on new South African talent.

Joburg Ballet’s Ruan Galdino from Brazil with Chloé Blair dancing the famous Bluebird.

All proceeds from this production will go towards supporting the District Six Museum.

Jazzart, Joburg Ballet, Figure of 8 Dance Collective, the Waterfront Theatre School and the Cape Junior Ballet (CJB) formed the cast of the show that was narrated by Dr Mosaval himself.

Dr Mosaval, who now lives in Lansdowne, grew up in District Six as the eldest of 10 children.

He experienced the full might of the Apartheid state and was forced to pursue his dancing dreams in a foreign country. He went on to carve out an illustrious career as a senior principal dancer with London’s Royal Ballet, between the 1950s and 1970s. It was during his tenure with the prestigious company that he performed before the late Queen Elizabeth at her 1953 coronation. He was also the first person of colour to dance at Artscape, known back then as the Nico Malan Theatre.

A scene from Dreaming Dance in District Six: The Johaar Mosaval Story

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Dr Mosaval said it was magnificent to see people watching his story and thanking him. “What I have achieved was all for the love of the arts and culture of South Africa and also for the people of South Africa.”