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GRAHAMSTOWN DANCE (article first published : 1999-06-29)

The State Theatre Dance Company (STDC) has for many years been a regular feature at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival. This year, under the artistic direction of Esther Nasser, the STDC presents Made in South Africa, a programme of four important South African works.

Offering some of the country's most innovative and cutting edge choreography, this wide-ranging programme moves from the quietly introspective, through to the funky and the emotionally ravaging, to the light-hearted and entertaining. The programme includes Nasser's Against the Gate, Sean Bovim's Zoo Biscuits, Jeanette Ginslov's written in blood, and Mandla Mcunu's Us 2.

Against the Gate is Nasser's most deeply felt work, reflecting on the personal relationships of three closely linked characters in an intimate way. The acclaimed, award-winning work at the 1998 National Choreography Competition in Pretoria, written in blood, deconstructs and retells a harrowing incident of violence choreographed by Jeanette Ginslov. Sean Bovim, steadily emerging as a noteworthy South African choreographer, presents Zoo Biscuits which examines aspects of urban life with humour, pathos and insight set to the music of cult movies. In Us 2, choreographer Mandla Mcunu has reworked a piece commissioned by the 1999 FNB Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg as an exhilarating dance for four women, in a fusion of jazz and contemporary styles.


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