A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

dance
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

FRESH (article first published : 2006-07-8)

Fresh, appearing on the main programme of the National Arts Festival, is a showcase for four young talented choreographers. It celebrates new identities and new dance language.

To quote the programme notes: “Spending their formative years in a post-apartheid state, these choreographers offer visions untainted by the baggage of political correctness. Witty, provocative and moving, the works have been selected and mentored by dance professionals.” The choreographers are Siyanda Duma and Mlu Zondi from KZN alongside Lucky Kele and Nelisiwe Xaba.

Lucky Kele from the Lucky Dance Theatre in association with The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative, produced a work titled Bosol (Prison). Bosol is the local name for Boksburg Prison where Lucky Kele taught a weekly dance class for over nine months. The central character, Prince, is based on an actual inmate currently serving a 13-year sentence. The work identifies the fact that at heart he is a decent person and it’s bad company that has got him into trouble. Lucky Kele, Nicholas Aphane, Zakhele Moletsane, Tladi Moletsane and Benjy Peesa create a credible atmosphere of stifling and volatile tensions resulting in violence.

What sets Siiyanda Duma’s Quicksand apart in the new technology of using video technique as back projection, is the placing of the cameras either side of the stage. One focuses solely on the feet, the other on extreme close-up of whichever dancer sits opposite. Clad initially in no less than seven jackets, which he systematically sheds, Siyanda Duma portrays an aggressive, spasmodic individual before he moves into the surreal world of the insane where all the inmates are clad in straitjackets. It’s a place of sterility and vacant stares where people are struggling in their own closed mental world. The close-up gibberings on the camera almost parallel the confessional. This is a dramatic and moving piece performed by Siyanda Duma, Bheki Madi, Lynn Mbatha and Mxolisi Nkomonde.

Mlu Zondi’s powerful Silhouette deals with sexual relationships and brutal supremacy. Mlu Zondi and Ntando Cele, two of Durban’s most talented performers, perform a work that has much to say on the subject. While she pretties herself up with makeup, his insatiable sexual appetite forces himself on her. Thereafter he smears her careful make-up into a mess, thereby reducing her to facelessness. Video artist Momelezi Ntshiba moves among the two, capturing intimate expressions and movements.

The most popular item on the programme was undoubtedly Nelisiwe Xaba’s Plasticization. Teetering into the audience with one foot in a pointe shoe (the ballerina) and the other in a spiky red high heeled shoe (the chorus girl) she proceeded to hold the audience enthralled. Unravelling her costume to reveal that it was nothing more than one of those plastic chequered bags favoured by out of town rural visitors, she used the simple prop to maximum advantage in her aim to discuss restriction of freedom and movement. Legs and arms emerged – at one time more footwear (a gumboot and a takkie) produced a four-legged plastic figure of a suitcase. With a humorous choice of music, she headed for the Amen of the Mozart Requiem with great gusto and a mammoth amount of imagination - not once having removed herself from the bag!

All in all, Fresh offers an exciting insight as to what our young choreographers are capable of producing in terms of challenging, ground-breaking dance. – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart