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tv   Kenyas Dance Discovery  BBC News  December 29, 2020 1:30pm-2:01pm GMT

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most of the showers ease away through tonight, mainly confined to coastal areas and the north—west of scotland. temperatures falling down to freezing or a little bit below, so another cold night with a sharp frost and iciness to start wednesday morning. wednesday is a little drier for most compared to today, but later in the day we have more rain, some sleet and snow pushing into the south—west of england, perhaps south wales and further snow showers across the north of scotland. goodbye for now.
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hello, this is bbc news with simon mccoy. the headlines: the military is set to provide remote support to schools and colleges in england with coronavirus testing. it comes after cabinet minister michael gove said the government's
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plan for a staggered return to secondary schools can go ahead. nhs england says health workers are "back in the eye of the storm" as the number of coronavirus cases exceeds the peak that was seen in april — but its chief executive said the vaccine is bringing hope for the future. more than 100 republicans in the us house of representatives join forces with democrats to reject president trump's veto of a key defence bill. it's the first time in the president's time in office that republicans have united with their rivals. french fashion designer pierre cardin — who was hailed now on bbc news, before the first coronavirus lockdown, professional dancerjoel kioko returned to his home city nairobi, meeting dance students emerging from a thriving classical ballet scene in kenya. one month since the coronavirus
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lockdown started, 19—year—old joel kioko completes daily ballet classes at his home in london, with instructions coming in from his teacher via zoom. demi—detourne. derriere. stretch out a little bit. switch davant fondu. second. let go of the bar. front reverse the port de bras... back in february, joel was taking his final classes at the english national ballet school and preparing for a major challenge — the leading role in romeo and juliet at the kenyan national theatre. with classical ballet, you're always learning something. that's how i see it — i don't know how other people see it — and especially for me, because i started late, i have so much to learn. joel has come a long way since his upbringing in the kuwinda slums, where his incredible talent was spotted. he's the first student from an emerging classical ballet scene in nairobi to train professionally in london.
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sometimes, when i am in class, i am like — i have never seen that before but i have to play with it because later on, i'll go into the studios and i'll play with a certain movement that i've seen that i've never seen before and i'll practice and i'll do until it will be perfect. but i think i'm comfortable to go out there and start dancing. i just want everyone to just get a job and dance. to reach this stage in the competitive ballet world has been hard work, and the dancers will take up places in international companies when the current isolation period ends. so our third years will be taking auditions for companies outside, so they would have finished, they would have got — they would get their diploma injuly, after a school performance. they are already auditioning for all sorts of different companies all over the world so, you know, in order to find a job.
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that's everybody. head of year and joel's tutor mr yow has guided them throughout. ok, so last time we got to see you doing nutcracker... this afternoon, the class rehearsed pas de deux. piano plays. it is quite scary for the students to go out there in the big world after being in a school for three years with the same friends. but once you're out there, you have to look after yourself. so we actually, as a school, try to prepare them for that. joel is one of our students. he is very professional. after hours of technical classes,
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later in the day the students get to practise their own choreography. third—year innis‘s piece is based on swan lake. five, six, seven, eight! you can choose any music and then you get four dancers — or more, if you want. i have three. i don't have a name for it yet but i've chosen indian music. it is based on contemporary and kathak. you need that... i need that passe. oh, wait, shouldn't we do this? we did a passe! yeah, yeah, we did it.
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this is the beginning. yeah. as well as the movements, joel is working out the soundtrack with his classmate ludmila. it's one of their last projects together before they leave college. it's a bit sad, because we've known each other for a long time and knowing that from next year, we're not going to have each other to come to talk to, so it's going to be very sad. as this chapter of their lives, the bonds formed during their halcyon days at college will stay with the students long after they have left. we are very close. we — i think we've grown more into, like, very good friends. when i first metjoel, it was so interesting to hear stories of, you know, where he'd came from. it is really quite amazing and inspiring how far he's come and how lovely he is as a person and a dancer. we share a passion. i think i've gotten closer with most
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of my school classmates. everyone has started getting close but in the beginning, because it was new competition, no—one really wanted to talk to anyone else, it's really lonely. sometimes you get homesick, i am not going to lie. sometimes, when i've been walking around london and i see a picture of my mum on facebook while i'm on facebook, and i am like, "oh, yeah, i miss my mum". for three years, joel has been living with a london family, so he has four new surrogate sisters. but now, joel will soon be reunited with his family as he has been offered a unique opportunity to return to nairobi to play romeo, with the dancer who first discovered him playing juliet. it is going to be boiling all day long doing ballet. it's going to be emotional because we share so much and,
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especially with romeo and juliet, it's like — it's all about love. i know something good is going to be created. soon, joel will once again meet the dancers who discovered him as a boy. touchdown! so we're going to one of the studios, which is in hardy — that's where we're going — but we're going to rehearsal because we only have a week to put this on. romeo and juliet is being staged under the directorship of american ballet dancer cooper rust, who founded dance centre kenya. dance is taking over nairobi and even spreading beyond. the employment opportunities in the city that has 40% unemployment and now all of a sudden, there's dance teachers and it is an opportunity for people to make a living through dance and i am just as excited about training future dance teachers and having more of these little studios around nairobi and around kenya as i am
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about training dancers that are leaving kenya and going abroad, like joel. annabel shaw, playing juliet, from the northern and manchester city ballet is on hand to greet him. romeo and juliet is my favourite ballet. i think the score, prokofiev's music, isjust to die for. i think it's gorgeous. when cooper told me kind of, yeah, only five weeks ago, "oh, you're going to do romeo and juliet. you're going to be juliet. joel is coming but he is not arriving until a week before the show," i was kind of like "oh, 0k!" the cast have already been rehearsing for three weeks asjoel arrives, with the opening night just seven days away. for now, i want you to get your tights and your dance pointe on. i don't have to put my tights, no? uh, yeah, we have rehearsal until seven. go ahead, next section.
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everybody go with your partners. michelle, you work with pamela, but michelle can help you discuss a lot. joel is thrown straight in at the deep end as the company begin rehearsals for the ball scene, where romeo falls forjuliet. i learned a lot of the choreography beforehand because at least, if one of you knows it, you've got at least something to fall back on. but what's really nice is that, because we do know each other so well, a lot of the figuring out has kind of already been done over the years, so a lot of the kind of partnership and predicting where the other is going to be and how we're going to fit together, we've kind of already done all of that, so that definitely makes it easier, as well. do it again. back up and set her back down. i would recommend not trying this the first time with a skirt on.
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0k. joel and annabel have just six more days to learn a one hour and 50 minute ballet. let go of your dancers around... things do not always go quite to plan, even for experienced dancers like joel. so let's hear this musically, this whole section. step, up, up. dance. music playing. by the end of the first day, joel has already learnt the first pas de deux. i do not even think about it. i see it's just a dance — that's it. as long as i keep on repeating it, that's why we have rehearsals, it will be there. the movements, i have seen them, and that's — i think that is why i remember them. seen them, and that's — i have seen them before, you know the names, you know the terminology and i guess that is
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why it is easier to remember. through artists for africa, a charity set up by cooper, more children from the slums are hoping for a career in dance. cooper fosters eight of them, including 12—year—old michelle and 13—year—old lavender, who regularly travel to rehearsals after visits to their families in kibera. i'm from kibera slums, which is one of biggest slums in kenya, and i love it there because i was born there and i'm from there. and that is why i started dancing. you, like, have to do everything correctly, like, arms and put your legs where they are supposed to be but then africa is like, you are just free, you can do anything. for now, i want to be a professional dancer when i grow up, yeah, because i love it so much. keep them — it's very hard... withjoel as their role model, the young people cooper has fostered from the slums, and others like them, believe a career in dance
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and an escape from poverty is possible. joel's friend silas is the first certified male ballet teacher in kenya. it is a growth for me. i see it as a growth of talent and growth of art in our country, not only here at dck, but as a country at large. it shows that there is a bright future ahead. dance teachers going out into schools around nairobi through artists for africa are inspiring the next generation of children from the slums. 1,2 -i, 2... sometimes the kids come from slums, they have a lot in their heads so when they dance they free up their minds. the kids can choose what they want after dance. maybe others want to be an engineer, maybe others want to take dance as a career. so it is up to us to show them the way. today the cast are learning the scene where tybalt kills romeo's
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friend mercutio and, in turn, romeo exacts his revenge and is banished from verona. five, six, seven, eight. one, two, three, four, down, up, down up. learning the fights is hard, not to mention the acting. you want him and them to be friends now after 20 years of hating each other. so don't grab it. na—uh—uh! it's even the fingers in the... don't. i'm serious. details matter. it's not fingers in front as if you're grabbing it. it's fingers in back as if you're saying "hey, excuse me". it's a very different gesture. as well as the fight scenes, joel must learn the harlot‘s dance with benvolio and mercutio. romeo &juliet - morning dance. when they're not in the main
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rehearsals, joel and annabel practice in a side studio. it has gotten on ok. tiring. but i'm getting there. almost done with, like, with the first act — almost finished. by the end of the third day, joel almost has the ballet done. this is absolutely insane. him learning all of romeo and juliet in three days. we've got about six minutes left here. an hour and 56 minutes or something like that. he just has a few minutes left to learn. and it'll be done this evening.
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with the castjust needing to fine tune their routines, joel is absolutely exhausted. getting the show onto the stage at the kenyan national theatre seems a long way off. finally, there's a break in rehearsals for romeo and juliet, so annabel is taking joel to visit his mother. it's going to be nice. have dinner. hang out with my mum. because i haven't done that in a while. mum! many of the families here were forced to relocate after a massive fire, including angela. angela has seen her son transformed since the days he started dancing. he told me he was going to dance
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and then he was dancing, everyday dancing. at first i wasn't taking it seriously. i didn't know that dancing was done for, maybe, for a career. joel regularly returns to kibera, where he used to give ballet classes to the children at the angel kindergarten. me teaching the kids was always fun, stressful sometimes, because i didn't know how they would react to it. you see them smiling, you see them happy. they are talking, they are dancing. i was very eager to learn in the beginning when i started doing ballet. it was through an outreach programme like this thatjoel first met annabel. we were both really young. i was maybe 14 and joel was 13 or 12. but i sort of spotted joel. he was always coming in, he was always on time,
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and he had this beautiful elevation and these long legs when he jumped. annabel decided to invite cooper rust in to seejoel dance. and immediately i sanoel. so i started home—schooling him so he could both learn to read and learn to dance. asjoel‘s skills increased, cooper secured an audition for him at the english national ballet school. she has pretty much changed a lot of lives. she's a mum to a lot of people. she's my best friend. whilejoel trained, he spent most of the time with his ballet friends at cooper's. these are home—grown zucchinis? yes. cooper's really amazing that she does all of that. i don't think i've met anyone else who can do such brilliance that she does. it really brings us together. emotionally we talk about everything. and we just really understand each other. so let's get everything cleaned up
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tonight and teeth brushed and ready for bed and we'll make some plans. cool? after dinner, cooper has some last—minute notes forjoel. in the death pas de deux. more emotion. a lot more emotion. by putting your own worst nightmares into it. when you're acting it out you have to take it all the way. when you're in the moment it's ok and annabel won't mind. it'll help her. i think sometimes you're like "what comes next, what comes next, what comes next?" — it's natural. but you have to think "what comes next, what comes next, what comes next..." laughter. after a late night there's just time to grab some breakfast. it feels surreal, because, first of all, i would never have imagined performing romeo and juliet here. it's something that never crossed my mind even as a role that i would ever get to perform. so i'm just thankful. i don't know.
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it's crazy. it is crazy. while the theatre technicians get across the lighting and stage cues, the company have a chance to get used to this space, including a renowned actor john sibi okumu playing lord montague. it is a wonderful story and i wanted to be on the same stage asjoel. because what he has achieved is phenomenal. to get where he is, and annabel, these are home—grown superstars. at the kenyan national theatre, the public arrive for the opening gala. the show must go on. applause. places for act one! romeo &juliet, dance of the knights.
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over the next few nights, the nairobi audiences are in for a treat. people are freaking out, joel. they thought that this was the best show ever. but that's only cause they weren't here for last night. yeah, and they don't know when it's not good or not. we can only pray. romeo &juliet, balcony scene. it was amazing to watch, honestly. just spectacular. from the last time i saw him dance to now, his skill
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level has improved. it's just fascinating to watch. i thought it was amazing. i enjoyed every second. and it was such a pleasure to look at. the first night of the performance, opening night, my mum was there, my sister was there. and i didn't know that she was going to come onstage and give me flowers afterwards the performance, which was pretty cool, because i had never gotten a chance like that. so it was lovely for herjust to be on stage with me and give me flowers at the end of the performance in nairobi at the kenyan national theatre and it was pretty cool. i enjoyed it. back in london just a week later, the harsh reality of exams, assessments, and auditions is beginning to hit home. today i'm doing a class with alexander whitley at the wayne mcgregor studios, because i'm graduating in three months‘ time.
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basically the students are auditioning for certain companies, ballet companies, contemporary companies. considering this is the first time he's done class with us, i think a lot of it isjust being familiar enough with the kind of exercises to be able to learn them and do them quickly, you know. one, two, three, back... he's got the willingness and the aptitude to try and take risks and explore new things. when we're out there just doing our thing, you're happy, you're smiling, so i think — no, i know that it's going to be amazing. whether he decides to do ballet or contemporary, one things for sure, joel's dancing career will take off once this lockdown is over. but, for now, as with most of us, joel and his friends in kenya spend their time online taking classes and looking forward to the day they can take to the stage again. joel, would you like to be our first guest teacher next week?
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um, sure, yes, please. actually, no, i've changed my mind, because they've had you recently for romeo and juliet. all the boys. ten push—ups. face your camera down. you ready? ready? laughter. and one and two... oh, i miss this. i used to do this! four, five, six... seven, eight... nine... come on! ten! oh, no. you only get ten. you're only getting ten. all right. that's fine. that's about nine.
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good morning. many of us woke up to quite a wintry scene outside with frost, ice and snow around, too. and there's more of the wintry mix through the course of today and for the next few days. to summarise the next couple of days, expect further ice and snow at times. that could bring some disruption to travel, some slippery conditions underfoot as well. so it is a mix of rain, sleet and snow but we are all in this cold air. the blue colours, the cold air mass with us and the winds coming in from a northerly direction. wherever you are, it will feel chilly today. we have this area of rain, sleet and snow moving out of northern england through the midlands and the south west, central and southern england seeing some of that later. further snow showers for the north of scotland, some rain, sleet and snow for northern ireland, and one or two showers across eastern parts of england, too but some sunshine, temperatures only about 4—6 degrees for most of us. through this evening and overnight the winds fall a little bit lighter, and most of the showers tending to ease away. under those clear skies it will be quite a chilly night, with temperatures generally either
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side of freezing by a few degrees. colder than this in some rural areas. wednesday starts off again with some frost, some ice, some snow. although here will be a good deal of sunshine, further snow showers will pack in and across the northern half of scotland in particular. then our attention turns to this area of rain and sleet increasingly turning to snow as it moves across the higher ground of the south—west of england and into south wales. eastern england bright and dry, temperatures only about three to six degrees. through wednesday night into thursday, this area of rain moves along the south coast, eastwards, could bring sleet and snow for the likes of london. thursday morning starts with low pressure towards the south—east. that slowly clears away but it could leave a legacy of sleet and snow for parts of east anglia and the south—east into thursday. further north, still some snow showers packing in across parts of scotland, perhaps northern ireland seeing some sleet and snow and also into northern england, some snow showers. a cold day for all, temperature about two to 6 degrees for most of on thursday. here's how it looks for the next five days. pretty chilly wherever you are and a few sleet and snow showers, watch out for icy stretches underfoot. goodbye.
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this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. scientists say the uk risks a coronavirus "catastrophe" in the new year without tighter restrictions. the military will provide remote support to schools and colleges in england with coronavirus testing, as they begin to re—open next week. but pressure to delay the start of term is growing. germany has approved a new rapid coronavirus test that can give results within a0 minutes. the company that developed the process says it enables mass testing based on the highly reliable pcr technology. spain says it will set up a registry of people who refuse to get the covid vaccine, and share it with other eu nations. but the list will not be made accessible to the public. french fashion designer pierre cardin


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