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Saturday, December 12, 2009


(Pic: The finalists with judges Rajiv Mothie (extreme left) and Megan Lamb and Musa Hlatshwayo with MC Clive Gumede (top row extreme right).)

Six auditions, around 400 dancers, three semi-final heats and hundreds of spectators at Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World, have brought the second edition of the all-Durban Footsteps to Fortune reality dance competition to a crucial stage, as excitement mounts ahead of the gala finals at Suncoast on December 16.

Due to the high standard of talent on offer, judges made a quick decision at the last semi-final heat in November 28 to turn the top 10 into a top 12 who had consistently impressed with the energy of their performances. The finalists are Andile Buthelezi of Pinetown (19); Chontell Randles of Westville (26); Christopher Enicker of Wentworth (22); Enver Moolla of Wentworth (22); Justin Young of New Germany (17); Mallory Van Niekerk of Wentworth (16); Ngcebo Nzama (18); Nhlanhla Chiliza of Umlazi (23); Nicole Beneke of Umhlanga (16); Nokuphiwa Majola of Kwa-Mashu (19); Tebogo Mncwabe (19) and Verdene Van Zyl of Wentworth (23).

Eugene Boniface, Suncoast Marketing Manager, said the community dance competition hosted in partnership with Makulu Event Producers, had proved an excellent vehicle for exposing raw dance talent in Durban communities. “The mix of contestants and styles has been really phenomenal. From classically trained ballet and tap stars in the suburbs, to tsotsi style up-and-comers in the townships, what they all have in common is tons of talent, energy and personality,” he said.

Apart from total prize money of R22,500 and prizes sponsored by Hirsch, the dancers also get the opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance of the judges. They are dance professionals Musa Hlatshwayo, Megan Lamb and Rajiv Mothie. Durban style guru Kevin Ellis will choreograph the final event and design the dancers’ costumes.

To the excitement of the Footsteps to Fortune semi-finalists, Mothie has also announced that the top 22 Footsteps to Fortune semi-finalists will be instantly entered into the Youth Film Development Project (YFDP) pool to be eligible for opportunities in forthcoming music videos, feature films, live productions.

Said Mothie, “The YFDP is currently driving the concept of ‘H.E.A.R’, to ‘Hire, Educate and Recruit youth learners from primary and secondary schools from KZN, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The dance talent and stage presence we’ve seen in Footsteps to Fortune has convinced me, as South African ambassador for the YFDP, that these semi-finalists will be ideal for entry into the South African film industry, as well as the formation of a new film genre called Afriquewood which exposes the true diversity of Africa,” he said.

Organiser Evan Roberts of Makulu Event Producers said the overall excitement in the Footsteps to Fortune competition was now tangible and public support at the free semi-final performances at SUNCOAST had been “amazing.” “The crowds have really shown their appreciation for the high level of talent on offer and we’re certainly all looking forward to working long and hard with the finalists to deliver a superb final show this December.”

The Footsteps to Fortune final takes place in the Suncoast Zone at 19h00 on December 16. Doors open at 18h00. Tickets R100 for reserved seating from Computicket or at the door. For more information or updates on the competition, contact Makulu Event Producers on 031 312 1281 or 082 553 5610.