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#ILoveBotswana ensemble, an electrifying and dazzling piece of art!

Hardly a year after setting New York City’s Battery Dance Festival (BDF) ablaze with their vivid and immaculate dancing prowess,  Botswana’s first Afro-Fusion and Contemporary dance group, Mophato Dance Theatre will return to ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ this year under the apt tag, #IloveBotswana ensemble. The group, which performed in New York City last year, August (2017) already seem fired up and ready to conquer the USA yet again with their dazzling and inspired #IloveBotswana production.

Dubbed the #ILoveBotswana ensemble and co-created as well as produced by Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) alongside Mophato Dance Theatre under the sheer direction of Andrew Letso Kola for the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin 2017, Germany, the group last night launched its re-energized production to a filled to capacity Maitisong Hall in Gaborone.

Thea Khama

The ensemble also introduced its new patron, Thea Khama whom it is hoped will be instrumental in guiding the growth, sustainability and global positioning of the #ILoveBotswana production.

Comprising of Mophato Dance Theatre, Tsoga Dance Theatre, Bana Ba Kwena, Skit Beat, Khudu Thamaga, Ntirelang Berman and Nare Tsa Pina – the #ILoveBotswana production highlights the beauty of Botswana, its different tuourist destinations, Setswana culture, events, hospitality including the unmatched hedonism of the stunning yet elegant beautiful flora and fauna, as well as being a great place for investors, travellers and nature enthusiasts.

“The production is a persuasion for viewers to make Botswana their tourism and investment destination of choice. Inter-weaved by the narrator who from time to time gives the production a drive for the audience to understand it and have a feeling of being part of a journey as we traverse the beautiful places of Botswana, the story is set to create an ambience where the audience is part of the unfolding events within the production.”

Former President Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Last night, the audience which comprised of former President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, embassies and CEOs of local companies witnessed the highly-spirited #ILoveBotswana production showcasing Botswana’s prime tourist attractions including its game reserves with photographic safaris. One of the production’s highlights is the Okavango Delta, which is a maze of waterways, islands and lakes.

L-R: Gabriel Modise and Ntirelang Berman

The production further highlights the country’s tourism principles being sustainable tourism for economic development and community upliftment. The #ILoveBotswana ensemble is an electrifying piece of art that is sure to leave viewers asking for more.

The troupe is inspired and guided by the vision to cultivate cultural tourism in Botswana as well as give artists international exposure, offering young Batswana an equal advantage of opportunity to succeed through this platform.

Mophato Dance Theatre performing against the backdrop of one of New York City’s most spectacular settings; in front of the sparkling New York Harbor (2017).

“The #ILoveBotswana ensemble has represented and raised the Botswana flag in Germany and USA in March and August 2017 respectively, and has done tremendously well in selling our cultural tourism through music, dance and acting. Our plan is to tour locally and globally to create awareness about Botswana, sharing her world acclaimed and admired story. The ensemble is on a journey to take cultural tourism to greater heights, to re-awaken the creative hearts of our fellow citizens, and to showcase our country’s diversity and unity to our fellow Batswana and to the rest of the world.”

Mophato Dance Theatre in action (New York City).

Furthermore, the #ILoveBotswana ensemble plans on becoming an employment creation vehicle by recruiting more local artists.

“The group has an ultimate goal of featuring in a Broadway Theatre, performing in the Broadway stages in Hong-Kong, Sydney, New York and London, and to eventually bring Broadway to Botswana to make her a home of Broadway in Africa.”

Tourism Minister, Tshekedi Khama at last night’s #ilovebotswana production launch.

The group last night revealed they are busy planning their return to New York’s Battery Dance Festival. Established by Battery Dance in 1982 as the Downtown Dance Festival, today the Battery Dance Festival (BDF) is New York City’s longest-running free public dance festival.

The Battery Dance Festival provides a unique opportunity for outstanding dancers and choreographers to present original works of high artistic merit in a free public forum. The platform further revels in the panoply of dance that our city offers, with strong emphasis on the inclusion of diverse dance styles and an international roster of performers.

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