Nikhita Winkler’s Street Style Stories: A showcase of potential

June 27, 2017
A quick walking tour through Windhoek
July 3, 2017
June 27, 2017
A quick walking tour through Windhoek
July 3, 2017

Text Nina van Schalkwyk | Photographs courtesy Nikhita Winkler

W indhoekers often complain that there isn’t enough to do in this city, but I’d like to prove them wrong. That is why I’m often on the lookout for interesting events taking place in the capital, and I try to support as many as I can.

Which is how I found myself this past Saturday at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) for Nikhita Winkler’s annual dance production, named Street Style Stories.

About that name, for starters. A week or so before the show I met up with Nikhita to talk about her show. She told me that the entire production was a combination of dances, or choreography in dancing terms, put together by her group of teenage dancers. What struck me is how she let these youngsters come up with their own ideas for a dance. Her only role was to push them, to help and guide, but the stories behind the dances were the dancers’ own.

The production was presented backstage, or rather, on stage of the NTN with chairs set out on the large stage, which made the setting much more intimate. I’m a big fan of this new layout that the NTN uses of late. Nikhita’s fantastic sponsors included DB Audio, whose lighting made the venue brim with atmosphere and held my expectant attention for the opening scene.

Nikhita, humble and smartly dressed as always (African-style full skirt and simple top, hair pulled back), came to give us her thanks, and introduced us to Ndapcee, the fashion designer with whom she collaborated. Collaboration, I have to say, is perhaps too strong a word in the given context as neither the dancing nor the fashion was in any way influenced by or related to the other. Beautiful models walked across the stage at two points during the show, which in fact stopped the magic for a moment. The fashion was interesting but not worth the interruption.

The actual standard of dance, however, was impeccable. The group of dancers, trained by Nikhita for little over a month, showed immense potential and great technique. Before rehearsals began, she held auditions and picked the cream of the crop, her eye seeking out an unbeknown but necessary element, before moulding her selection into dancers in a league of their own.

Two dancers in particular caught my eye, Aishe Lenga and Leclue Job. Leclue displayed his beautiful lines and flexibility with strong jumps and bursting energy, while Aishe’s slower, restrained style was a complete contrast, but no less inspiring.

The production managed to showcase each dancer’s strong points and at times I could easily forget that the dancers we witnessed on stage were between the ages of 13 and 19. Nikhita instilled in them all a quintessential concentration on their movements. Each step and each gesture was completed with a mindfulness that one does not see with mediocre dancers.

How Nikhita managed to wangle this kind of strength out of her dancers would have been inconceivable to me if I hadn’t seen her in the classroom first-hand. Her experience in the US, where she completed her Masters in dance, enables her to carry across the magic of movement, and her students get the best of her knowledge and experience.

I am impressed with the quality show that this young woman put together. She proves that passion and hard work is the way for great entertainment in Windhoek. I can’t wait to give up a Saturday night again for her next production. See me there.

Nikhita Winkler is a lecturer at the College of the Arts, Windhoek.

For more information, contact Nikhita via email:

Keep your eyes on the page for more in the Nina’s Namibia series.


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