Talent and Space Collide in Gateway and Performance Group’s Collab

Gateway Theatre of Shopping recently extended a temporary supporting arm to UNITY’s performing arts group. Operating for five years, UNITY has over 300 artists from different genres on its books.

Covid-19 restrictions over the past 2 years dealt a devastating blow to performers – closing theatres, cancelling events and leaving many talented and passionate individuals with no income, or venues to rehearse in or perform at.

“It has been heartbreaking to see the impact the pandemic has had on the performing arts sector,” says Gateway Theatre of Shopping Marketing Manager, Michelle Shelley. “UNITY’s approach to Gateway was not to look for sympathy, but opportunity. And, within weeks, they made the provisional space magically come to life.”

Gateway is providing an interim venue for UNITY which acts as a central hub for their artists, a creative space for a smorgasbord of opportunities to get involved.  From painting to poetry, dance to yoga and even creative writing classes – there is something for everyone, both with experience or without. Situated on the first floor next to CTFM, the space now sees an array of talents, from contemporary, ballet and hip hop, to some unique dance disciplines’ such as am a piano, burlesque and fire spinning.

 “Our mission is to connect local artists with the public, provide a home base for artists and to be that first-stop for people wanting to break into the Arts. The performing arts is not a closed shop, and we live that with exhibitions, open classes and dance classes,” says UNITY founder, Jemma van Breda. “Content creation has been a lifeline during Covid and we’re expanding that as the demand increases.”

UNITY dancers and choreographers have already collaborated on several content projects for Gateway – providing a creative outlet for artists, exposure and work for several individuals who have been without during the pandemic.

“As a THEATRE of shopping, we love to bring our events and attractions to life through creative content sharing. UNITY brings a unique perspective on visual art – its…Umhlanga-style, Gateway-style, UNITY-style and an all round visual treat!” says Shelley.

To get in touch with Unity and find out more about their classes, follow them on Instagram @UnityPerformingArts or visit their website www.unitysouthafrica.com     #UnityGateway

Captions:  Unity Performing Arts are running various classes at their premises at Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Unity Art class 1 & 2

A community Art class instructed by Sonaly Hurdayal from “Pause n Paint”

Names back row left to right:

Sherwin Bennie,  Nishthi Singh,  Aadila Bobat, Nadeema and Zoe Thabethe

Names front row left to right:  Jemma van Breda and Sonaly Hurdayal 

Gateway 3

Sherwin Green demonstrates to (pictured from front to back) Aleka Naidoo, Mikey Ndala and Jia Raghavjee

Gateway 4

Jia Raghavjee and Priyen Naidoo perform outside at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Ballerina  Gateway 5

Bonita Bierbaum and Casey Swales perform at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Gateway 6 & 10

Contemporary dancer Casey Swales practises his routine.

Gateway 7

Didi Mayanda, Mali Ngcobo and Sophie Passmore 

Gateway 8

Lucky Brown, Mikey Ndlala and Jia Raghavjee

Gateway 9

Jemma van Breda and Mikey Ndala practice their routine while Sophie Passmore looks on.