Operating for five years, Unity has over 300 artists from different genres on its books.
Covid-19 restrictions over the past two 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 amapiano, 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 or visit their website.