Collaboration under COVID

In a creative collaboration of performance arts and media, local dance sensation, Afrika Ablaze and renowned production house, Mad Little Badger, have taken centre stage in a show-stopping dance video set in a luxurious Fresnaye Mansion.

Leveraging their resources, these two Cape Town based creatives joined forces to showcase their respective industries and talents through a tale of dance.

Local dance and media company take centre stage in RE/MAX Living mansion

Set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Seaboard and the iconic Lions Head, Diamonds, is all that glitters in the “million-dollar” listing under sole mandate by RE/MAX Living. Featuring lead dancer and choreographer, Danielle Jones, social media influencer Chad Chitter, and a host of family and friends as both collaborators and extras.

Lockdown brought many industries to an abrupt standstill. The creative arts were no different but since the show must go on, artists and entertainers were left to discover new approaches and platforms to continue their crafts.

Produced by acclaimed theatre director and founder of Afrika Ablaze, Glenda Jones, the mother-daughter duo are thrilled to finally be back on “stage” and continue their 21-year success. The closure of the Baxter Theatre due to the pandemic halted their 21st-anniversary celebrations with the cancellation of their annual production I AM RAIN.

And while 2020 may be reaching its end, the curtain has certainly not fallen just yet.

Diamonds is cause for a celebration for many reasons. It’s a celebration of life, dance and the talents of the many skilful role-players that made it all possible,” explains Glenda.

And it all began with a humorous social media post by Afrika Ablaze Marketing Manager, Gino Solomon on the advertised sale of the R150 000 000 Fresnaye mansion as “his home…”

The reaction sparked the concept of turning the glamorous 5 bedroom property into a digital stage.

“We were fortunate to be busy throughout lockdown, editing zoom calls remotely. But we’re always on the lookout for interesting projects. So when Gino called me with the opportunity to film Afrika Ablaze in a multi-million rand mansion, saying YES was a no-brainer,” says Nicki Priem, CEO and Head of Production at Mad Little Badger.

After producing the internet sensation Happy – Cape Town in 2014, Nicki Priem founded Mad Little Badger. Their work became widely popular and they soon found themselves commissioned by Unilever to produce Happy – South Africa. Together, the videos have reached a combined two million views and have set the scene for Nicki and his team to emerge as one of the most respected industry leaders.

An ardent supporter of the arts, RE/MAX Living agent, Karryn Cartoulis, knew the collaboration between herself and Afrika Ablaze would be a favourable partnership for both. Their out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in a unique and wonderful way to showcase the property and the performance simultaneously.

Due to the pandemic, countless performers across the globe found themselves trying to navigate their way around a digital stage.

A skilled performer is as flexible in movement as they are in thought, with the ability to mask onstage errors from untrained ears and eyes and continue as if said errors were scripted in. They adapt and evolve their arts in order to remain relevant and survive.

The dance video is a culmination of efforts from various industries affected by COVID-19 who have teamed up to promote their individual expertise. Limitless Events set the mood with decor while Hot Chefs SA fuelled the bellies, The Travelling Artist SA ensured the cast was camera-ready while Sabotage Elite brought the bounce and Julian Bruyns, Director of photography, caught the stills.

Proving that local is still lekker with a medley of South African tracks, watch Diamonds here.

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