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fame the musical south africa
Kelley played the lead role of Carmen Diaz AND choreographed Fame - The Musical for Kevin Jacobsen Productions in Australia in 1999. In 2003 Kelley travelled to Johannesberg to stage her choreography for the South African production of Fame.

kelley says

I have had many blessings in my life but I was never more fortunate than having the experience of putting Fame the Musical into South Africa.

August 2003 saw the Australian creatives fly to Johannesburg to reprise the show with an all South African cast. The tour kicked off in Pretoria and later travelled to Capetown with a return season in Pretoria. Jacobsen Entertainment sold the show to South African Producer Hazel Feldman who helped us put together an exciting show filled with an amazing journey of self discovery, tears of joy and enormous heart.

I have such incredible memories of this rehearsal process and the opening in Pretoria. My assistant Leanne Cherney and the assistant director Jason Coleman and myself spent the best part of six weeks whipping the cast into shape. Eventually the director David Atkins arrived to see us into our Opening night. We could not get over how much the cast evolved and blossomed from our first week.
Some cast members had never done a musical before, some had never really trained before, some had come from incredibly repressed backgrounds and strained living conditions, and some were well seasoned and experienced professionals.

My pleasure comes in discovering that performers and in particular dancers are universally the same all around the world. They have the same expressions of fear and joyous discovery that we all do. Dance is such a universal expression that moves beyond barriers such as language, class and colour. It is a way of communicating that derives from soul connection.

My experience in translating my choreography to the South African dancers is something that I will forever hold close to my heart. The African sense of rhythm, musicality, soul and passion is infectious and inspiring. They received the Fame choreography with open heart and performed it on Opening night with incredible commitment, integrity and vitality. I was never so proud of such an incredible bunch of people.

My perception of the post apartheid city of Johannesburg is one of a city struggling to find balance and healing from such a devastating time of inequality. The amazing cast and crew I worked with awakened me with hope and love and gave me insight to the future of a new South Africa filled with forgiveness and possibilities.

A warm fuzzy feeling envelopes me when I recall this amazing trip and I continue today to be influenced choreographically by the African Gumboot dancing that I learnt in the lunch breaks from the gifted and talented male ensemble member Uria.

Thank you Uria...
Thank you Hazel…
Thank you Fame South Africa!!!
WE GONNA BUST OUT!!!
WE GONNA LIVE FOREVER!!!


fame the musical - south africa

fame the musical - south africa
The South African cast of Fame - The Musical
more photos in the gallery


PROFILE - URIA NHLA NHLA SIBANYONI

CAST:  Male Ensemble
AGE:  18
STAR SIGN:  Leo
HOME:  Mpumalanga, Ekangala.
SIBLINGS:  2 Sisters and 1 brother
EDUCATION:  Completed his matric at end of 2002
TRAINING:  No formal jazz training. Studied latin at the Latino Tebza school.
Has danced for 8 years.
1ST JOB:  Fame is Uria's first job and first pay packet.
DREAM:  To one day have his own studio to teach others.
WHY DANCING?  It is a passion from his heart, a God given thing.
When it is quiet he feels inspired to dance.
WHY HE LOVES FAME:  There are no restrictions, it is fun, it is the opportunity to feel what it is like to be in an arts school as he never got to go to one. The show makes him want to "Bust Out!!" He says it is above his expectations.
WHAT HE WAS DOING WHEN HE FOUND OUT HE GOT INTO FAME:
He was at the movies and started screaming!
TO RELAX:  Listens to music and watches the sunset.
FAVE SINGER:  Tamia [South African R&B artist] and J.LO
FAVE MOVIE:  Thank God it's Friday
FAVE FOOD:  Lasagne
INSPIRED BY:  Everything 'Dancing' and God
DESCRIBES HIMSELF:  Unpredictable, sensitive to others needs, determined.
DISLIKES: People underestimating him, people looking down on others.
OTHER PASSIONS:  Soccer
THANKS:  The Lord for helping him realize one of his dreams.

URIA … YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

uria nhla nhla sibanyoni
Uria Nhla Nhla Sibanyoni