You can’t help but see the human body in a new light when watching a contemporary dance piece. Muscles tense up and release, movement occurs in improbable ways and the dance transcends physicality to create meaning. You see all the hard work and discipline that went into the piece, and if you look closely you may even see the dancer’s soul. It’s honestly one of the most mesmerizing things you can ever witness.


For New World Dance Theatre (NWDT), every performance piece is made to appeal to peoples hearts and speak to their souls  This incredible ideology is strengthened by the dance company’s mission to teach and inspire those who were previously disadvantaged. They aim to identify talented individuals with the potential to become professional dancers and help their careers. Headed by  Celeste Botha and Marlin Zoutman, who are both well established dancers and choreographers, the company develops professional performance pieces that will give dancers the experience they need to make it in the industry.

Celeste Botha says: ‘New World Dance Theatre (NWDT) uses the medium of dance to create a new world based on old principles. For the directors it is imperative to preserve and reinvigorate the principles that they learnt throughout their dance training and in their careers as dancers: discipline, excellence, highest performance standards, lifelong learning, and a commitment to their craft and their communities.’


These principles help members with their dancing and provides great lessons that apply to everyday life. Celeste believes that dance can make a difference in South Africa’s youth:

‘It teaches the youth good work ethics like being on time, team work, confidence, accountability, to take responsibility for themselves and their action, respect for peers and to make informed choices.’

NWDT also has a training programme aimed at the youth. It happens on Saturday and has been very successful.


‘Celeste and Marlin continuously encounter talented youths taking dance at FET level, who want to further their training and extend themselves to achieve excellence, but who don’t have the means to do this. This need to take their training beyond the constraints of the classroom walls, and to experience performance in a more ‘professional’ environment is a fundamental one.

‘NWDT identifies talented, enthusiastic and focused youths in under-subscribed communities and offer them opportunities to train further, linking with the Dance educators at  FET schools where dance is part of the school curriculum. This will be the launching platform to further identify talented youth that will participate in an annual production in Cape Town’s premier theatre – the Artscape.’


They are in the process to expand this programme to develop more dancers, with a focus on females from undescribed communities. They are also looking to create vocational programme that will fully prepare dancers for a professional company. To see the NWDT performers in action, check out this beautiful video:

To see them live, you can catch their next concert at the UCT School of Dance on 27 and 28 May 2016. In September they will be performing a show called Borne Frees at Artscape.

When Monday – Sunday 9am – 12 pm
Where Rondebosch
Contact [email protected]

Photography courtesy

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