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

NEW CLASSICS (article first published : 2008-03-6)

The Playhouse Company’s latest residency programme will be unveiled in a New Stages premiere season of dance in the Drama Theatre in March. Simply entitled New Classics, this challenging stage work features the choreography of South African dance luminary, Desiré Davids.

It has been created on five leading Durban-based dancers who have each won acclaim in national and international dance circles. They are Zinhle Gumede, Liselle Sproull, Louise Fraquet-Golding, Quinton Ribbonaar and Davids herself.

“This is the first time we have worked together as a team,” says Davids. “The opportunity of building on the individual strengths of dancers who come from different performance backgrounds has been really exciting. While New Classics does not pursue a traditional storyline, we have taken care to ensure it is fully accessible to audiences all ages. In creating the new work, I have taken the opportunity of collaborating with the dancers, and have utilized their strengths by incorporating elements of contemporary and African dance as well as classical ballet in this new piece. The participation Zulu traditionalists, Omama Boxolo (The Mothers of Peace) infuses a vein of authentic Isigekle performance into this highly unusual fusion of styles.

“During the creative process, I engaged with each dancer - drawing from each movements best suited to their particular styles. This was achieved through movement exploration, using their strengths while pushing their boundaries a little to suit my ideas. I have also tried to share with them my experiences in working with various choreographers locally and abroad in the recent years. To me the creative process is as important as the end product itself.”

So what can audiences expect to see in the production? “Exciting dance, wonderful music, and a little bit of self reflection,” says Davids.

Public performances of New Classics are in the Playhouse Drama from March 20 to 22 at 19h30, with a 14h30 matinee on March 21. Schools performances are at 11h00 on March 18 and 19 (tickets R30). To book, call Mala Govender on 031-369 9456

Tickets R50 for these public performances can be booked through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or The Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540/9596 during office hours.




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