rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Dancers bust a move during auditions at the Vogue Theatre yesterday for the African dance show Umoja. Three lucky artists will be chosen for a walk-on role in the production that runs until next Sunday.

After a day of auditions yesterday, three Vancouver-area dancers will be chosen today to perform with the cast of Umoja, a South African musical.

They will get a one-time opportunity on Jan. 25 to go on stage at the Vogue Theatre on Granville Street.

"The judges are looking for someone with stage personality who can keep up with the cast," said Marnie Wilson, managing director for Artsbiz.

The audition was 25-year-old Lisa Petrucci’s first.

"The show has changed my understanding of female sexuality and power," she said. Petrucci, who practises dance and yoga everyday, said she loved the positive energy dancing brings.

Hassanatou Camara, 35, has been dancing since she could walk. Originally from Guinea, she practises everyday for three hours.

Camara danced to Triba, an intense traditional song that women dance to after they are initiated into womanhood to pay tribute to their mothers.

She was chosen by the Cirque du Soleil in Montreal for her dancing ability but quit when she discovered she was pregnant.

She now teaches dance and hopes this audition will allow her to follow her dreams.

togetherness travels

  • Umoja, which was first performed in London in 2001, means the spirit of togetherness.

  • It began in London, 2001 and has been shown in 26 countries.