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SHIFTING RITES (article first published : 2001-03-5)

Over two weekends in March, dance lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy an explosion of South Africa's very best contemporary dance, with a unique international element!

Shifting Rites is presented by The Playhouse Company with assistance from The British Council, and runs in the Playhouse Drama Theatre from March 22 to 24 (Part I) and March 29 to 31 (Part II).

Part 1 features Moving into Dance Mophatong and the Akram Khan Company, direct from London.

Founded in 1978, Gauteng-based Moving Into Dance Mophatong's repertory is chiefly concerned with the fusion of African movement, ritual and music with Western contemporary dance forms. The company, which has performed to enthusiastic audiences across the globe as well as in Africa, will present Passage of Rites choreographed by Sylvia Magogo Glasser, Sunduza choreographed by Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe and Kofifi-Kwela choreographed by Sylvia Magogo Glasser and the company. In 1997, Moving into Dance Mophatong won the FNB VITA Special Achievement award for developing a uniquely South African voice in contemporary choreography and dance, acknowledged both locally and abroad.

Akram Khan hails from the UK and his company is brought to South Africa with the assistance of The British Council. His beautiful and compelling new dance language has attracted much attention in UK dance circles and critics have acclaimed his work. Akram Khan will present the solo Fix and the trio Rush. Schooled in Kathak at the Academy of Indian Dance, Akram Khan tears down the barriers between Kathak and contemporary dance to find out what lies beyond, his exploration reaching beyond the boundaries of these dance languages to uncharted territory, resulting in an innovative new dance language.

Akram Khan's performances at the Playhouse, and the workshops he will be conducting with the Nateshwar Dance Company during his visit, form part of Britain and South Africa Dancing, a three-year initiative which aims to support dance exchange between the two countries.

"Britain and South Africa Dancing, now nearing the end of it's second year, is an exciting opportunity for learning and for participation; for artists from two very different nations to meet, explore ideas and to create extraordinary things together," said Amanda Jones, Arts Manager at The British Council in Durban.

Shows take place from Thursdays to Saturdays at 19h30. Tickets R30 from TicketWeb outlets or phone 0861 400 500, credit card bookings on (031) 369-9444. Book for both parts of Shifting Rites at a reduced price of R50. Special schools’ performances take place on March 23 and 30 at 11h00, bookings from Mala on (031) 369-9497 (tickets R10 for scholars). Block booking discounts available, call Eubulus on (031) 369-9498.

See separate article later this month on Part II which will feature Boyzie Cekwana’s Floating Outfit Project.




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