Working Lives: Maputo

WATCH: Working Lives Maputo: Perola Jaime talks about her life as choreographer of Mozambique's national dance company.

Perola Jaime is an artist ruled by a passion: dance.

Her whole life has been dedicated to the art, first as a star performer and now as the choreographer of the Mozambique National Dance Company, a prestigious position in a country where dance is at the centre of traditional culture.

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She thinks that dancing is often the best way for our body to expression what we really mean.

"In Mozambique, dance is a very important means of communication, " she says.

"It's always been used as an important way to get significant messages out to the people."

Perola thinks that in a country where there are competing languages, dance is a force that helps to unify the nation.

Perola supplements her $500 (£330) monthly salary by running a private dance school. Her students are aspiring professional dancers plus a few who simply love the discipline of her lessons.

With the beat of the drummers and local musicians accompanying Perola's lessons, the energy and sheer fun are infectious. Even those watching the classes are tapping their feet and swaying to the beat.

Perola welcomes anyone who loves dance, although her two daughters were only allowed to attend dance lessons once their schoolwork was finished.

She thinks they need to get good professional jobs, because, as she says: "Art in Mozambique, doesn't pay."


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