If it was not for his naughtiness as a young boy, Phikolwethu Luke would have never discovered the beauty of ballet dance.
Luke, one of the rising stars in dance, reveals he learnt about dance by peeping through the door to watch girls learning to dance.
The dance teacher would catch him and his punishment would be to spend a week dancing with the girls.
That punishment turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Luke, he told Sowetan. He ended up falling in love with dance and pursued it as his career.
“As a young boy I used to watch girls during ballet classes and when the teacher noticed that I’ve been standing there watching, I would run away. When the teacher caught me, he punished me by putting me in a ballet class.
“I had to dance with the girls alone. When the week was over, he asked me if I would come back again, and I said yes. From then I started alternating dance with other sporting codes until I took a decision to follow it. I was 10 years old at the time.
“What I loved about dance was the freedom to express yourself without limitations. I realised that the more I was involved the more it broadened my perspective.”
The dancer from Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, is a member of Jazzart Dance Theatre Company in Cape Town.
He joined the company on a 3-year full-time training programme and his dedication and hard work have truly paid off, making him an invaluable member of the team.
The 21-year-old is currently in UK where he is part of 50 years of dance celebratory programme of the company.
The celebration features two shows, Requiem: Journeys of the Soul by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a new composition After Tears by celebrated composer Neo Muyanga.
The big production features 16 dancers with 32 opera singers plus a live orchestra.
They premiered at the Leeds Grand Theatre in the UK on May 26 and will continue until June 4.
“Since the productions opened, we have received positive response and even the reviews published by different publications have been good.
“It is a fairly new production and very powerful in terms of both countries’ history. The two productions seek to open a conversation about our history, culture and heritage. The story tackles the issue of colonisation.”
His exceptional talent was recognised when he received the prestigious Mable Ryan Award in 2017.
As his journey continues in the industry, he wants to use art to tell stories that speak to SA culture.