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JONZI-D & ROBERT HYLTON (article first published : 2002-02-20)

The British Council and Eargasm present a nation-wide double-bill dance production with Jonzi-D and Robert Hylton from February 22 to March 9 in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The tour forms part of the British Council's three year programme Britain and South Africa Dancing, an initiative to support dance exchange between the two counties. The initiative aims to promote UK creativity, widen audiences and contribute positively to changing perceptions of contemporary Britain. It is an exciting opportunity for learning and for participation and provides access to current UK methodologies and artistic developments via collaborative performances and workshops.

The past 10 years have seen Jonzi D go from strength to strength further adding considerable acclaim to his well-noted repertoire. Through his own home-grown blend of urban culture and the spoken and visual arts, he has effortlessly delivered many compelling and educational productions. He shared his notable skills with an international audience, through numerous educational workshops in youth centres, prisons and schools across the globe from Howard University DC to the Soweto Dance Theatre.

Showing his creative skills Jonzi D satisfied the hunger of many young hip-hop patrons with some food for thought, through his stellar multi-media stage production Lyrical Fearta. Combining the key elements of contemporary theatre and hip hop, the show - set in the urban battlefield of east London - pulled no punches in raising the awareness of issues faced by today's at risk urban youth. Police brutality, gun culture and cultural displacement are all brought to the fore through his engaging and thought provoking stage show.

Sharing the stage with Jonzi D for the Durban and Cape Town legs of the tour is Robert Hylton performing his highly acclaimed dance piece Urban Classicism that moves to deliver and acknowledge the importance of street dance in our society as an open artistic form. A form which explores through improvisation, mixing formal modern dance with street dance, driving from the freestyle philosophy of the clubs. The intention of the dance is to dismiss any preconceptions or limitations attached to street forms of dance. Not to gain acceptance but to assert possibility!

Eargasm, the people who brought you numerous hip-hop events in South Africa aims to experiment with the various aspects of hip-hop culture, thus broadening the performance spectrum to include hip-hop theatre. This production being the introduction to hip-hop theatre to South Africa's hip-hop community, it will enable the artists to further emphasise their works to reach out to a wider audience.

There will be one performance on February 22 at The BAT Centre. Other performances will follow around the country at the Market Theatre (February 27 and March 1) and Artscape (March 8 and 9)

More information on workshops from Eargasm Entertainment on 011 648-4755 or 082 462 3063.




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