Category: Dance

Fiona Ramsay and Tony Bentel perform in The Old and the Beautiful on 8 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival.  Songs and spoken word giving a delicate and gritty reflection on the fabric that makes us human and vulnerable.  (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

Any show that offers Old Brown Sherry upon entrance is already good in my books.

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Julia Burnham performs in this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist winner for dance, Luyanda Sidiya’s (director and choreographer) production, Siva (Seven), at Alec Mullins venue in Grahamstown on 7 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Siva is performed by the Vuyani Dance Theatre. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

Dance at this year’s Festival seemed exceptionally introspective: from taking a long, refreshing drink of itself, to explorations of contemporary South African identities in all their guises, it has been one helluva ride.

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OLerato’ona Sesing in #ToyiToyi. Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Choreographed by Kieron Jina, #ToyiToyi is a dramatic dance performance that raises serious questions about the politics of the Rainbow Nation. The work, presented by the University of Johannesburg, explores race relations, homosexuality, and rape culture in our country.

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Mojela Theresa in the dance production Man Longing in Alec Mullins Hall venue in Grahamstown on 10 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Choreographed by Sunnboy Madla Motau , Man Longing uses dance and theatre to tell the story of the horrors of human trafficking. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) this year presents two works, Ngizwise and Man Longing, in a double bill that both delights and strikes terror in the hearts of its audience.

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Masixole Heshu performs in Waltz at the National Arts Festival, in Grahamstown, 07 July 2015. Waltz seeks to excavate and uncover the existence of South Africans in reclaiming their space. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

The Gatherings, also known as Intlangano, are Grahamstown-based theatre makers. The six men and their choreographer, Nomcebisi Moyikwa, investigate issues of masculinity and identity through the medium of physical theatre.

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Henk Opperman performs in Bok in Grahamstown on 9 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival.  Underground Dance Theatre, in association with the Waterfront Theatre Company, presents an interpretation of Njinsky’s The Afternoon of a Faun.  (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe).

I have been itching to see Bok since last year. My old roommate, a Rhodes drama alumnus, ignited my excitement after raving about it. But although the pros of Bok outweigh its cons, not all my expectations of the production were met.

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Khaya Ndlovu performs in ‘Silent Prints’ at Centenary Hall, St. Andrews College, Somerset Street, Grahamstown, 08 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Khaya Ndlovu is the Director, choreographer and dancer along with Zanele Ndlove as the Vocalist. CuePix/Pearla Berg.

Every once in a while a blurb in the programme is so intriguing that you take the time to check it out. Sometimes you discover a gem. This happened to me at Khaya Ndlovu’s Silent Prints. An explosive gem.
Two feet and hands, held together by an energized elastic body and accompanied by a VOICE, embark on a powerful exploration of African women’s identity.

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The lighting is dark and dramatic, slipping through reds and blues reflecting the changing emotions of the dancers, who move gracefully across the stage. Another Day is a beautiful and moving love story told through physical theatre.

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The lighting is dark and dramatic, slipping through reds and blues reflecting the changing emotions of the dancers, who move gracefully across the stage. Another Day is a beautiful and moving love story told through physical theatre. The show, which is produced by FollowSpot Productions, emphasizes song and dance.

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Rebecca Stroebel and Hayley Green perform in Jilted, by the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, in Grahamstown on 5 July 2015, at the National Arts Festival. With diverse dance styles, drama and song, the production looks at the definition of the title Jilted.  (Photo: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe)

As the audience enters Centenary Hall, a spotlight is trained on a standing figure wrapped in white tulle at centre stage. The house lights dim, music builds, and the figure unwraps himself. As he emerges, the tulle is laid out behind him: a makeshift altar. The stage is set for Jilted. The multidisciplinary production is one of this year’s presentations from the Cape Academy of Performing Arts. By using the premise of being left at the altar, Jilted depicts the joys, fears, and difficulties that accompany the complexity of love and commitment.

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