Category: Dance

Ciara Baldwin performs in the KBT productions dance written by
Penelope Youngleston. She is joined on stage by Rudzani Moleya and
Thola Antamu. Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Who really runs the world? Anyone with half a brain cell will tell you women – and if they don’t, they probably deserve a klap on the head.

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Ester van der Walt in Transparent. The show was centred around a character trying to be iconic figures ranging from Yolandi Visser to Pina Bausch. Photo: CuePix / Jeff Stretton-Bell

Putting on a performance is a complex act. Take physical theatre for example. The element of dance alone contains a few hundred styles, none of which Ester van der Walt has mastered. That doesn’t stop her from taking the piss out of them all, though, and throwing in the different director and performer approaches for good measure.

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lovezero

LoveZero explores dance in all its forms. From the playground to the stately court dance with a touch of the Highland fling thrown in, it scrutinizes the tension between dancer and dance. It is one of two productions put on by Underground Dance Theatre this year, but perhaps there should have been three. LoveZero is comprised of two distinct pieces, Mode and Cipher, but the only element they share is dance. Perhaps that should be enough, but presenting them as a double bill would make more sense.

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Directed and choreographed by Luyanda Sidiya, Siva is performed by the Vuyani Dance Theatre. Sidiya is the 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Dance.  Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Take one thousand and one dance moves, drawing on the best of contemporary and African dance, executed with graceful strength and relaxed precision. Add the soulful strains of a jazz sax and the syncopated rhythm of a thumb harp merging with African and Western drums. Throw in a dash of candle light and ceiling-to-stage zebra stripes and you have Siva.

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Ignition. Photo: Aaliyah Tshabalala

A dense bank of cloud looms threateningly over the Victoria Girls’ hockey field. The light fades, the music throbs and the audience shivers. Four girls take their stations at four points in a huge ring, like they are about to engage in some ancient ceremonial rite. Ignition ignites.

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j'zel

Graeme College is a big venue, seating 300. By the time I shamble in – I have just run three kilometres, from the Cue office to see the sell-out performance, without a ticket! – the place is packed. I squeeze into a seat and catch my breath.

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The Cape Dance Company has returned to the National Arts Festival once again with a production called Blue. It features four ballets from the creative vision of three choreographers.

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Nomcebisi Moyikwa performs at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, 03 July 2015. The show is a production of the First Physical Theatre Company and tells the story of the journey of  Inqindi. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo).

“Can we just admit that white people are so illiterate when it comes to black bodies?”

Choreographer Nomcebisi Moyikwa’s bold statement immediately caught my attention and led to one of the most informative conversations I have had this year. She struck me as a person who embodies (among other things) the strength and confidence of a black woman.

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CN03101

John Neumeier’s choreography for Le Sacre, based on the Rite of Spring, seemingly does the impossible with the Cape Town City Ballet dancers, who stomp, swirl and writhe against a minimalist backdrop to bring pathos and self-destruction to life.

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Carlton Zhanelo perfoms in the Tumbuka dance company production, portrait of myself as my father, at Alec Mullins venue in Grahamstown on 3 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. The dance is choreographed by Nora Chipaumire; the Zimbabwean rooted dance celebrates masculinity, the African body and the Zimbabwean self. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)

The Tumbuka Dance Company’s offering of Portrait of Myself as My Father brings a delightful energy and spirit to African dance and music that made more than one audience member dance in their seat and the aisles.

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