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IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH (article first published : 2002-05-6)

The Flatfoot Dance Company of the Drama and Performance Studies Programme of the University of Natal – Durban will present a new dance piece titled In The Valley of the Shadow of Death, a non-linear journey into ways of living and dying in South Africa.

Created out of short interlinking fragments of dance, video and text, the whole work is a poetic exploration of the historical, political and social relationship of young South Africans to their own deaths. This is a dance theatre work that invites death in, greets it warmly, looks at it from all sides and then chooses life!

“It is witty and ironic and will move you to remember our collective pasts and will ask you to embrace the future. In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death is contemporary dance theatre in its most intimate and cutting edge,” says award winning choreographer Lliane Loots. “It is both intensely personal in how it accounts for my own awareness of death through the politics of this country but it is also about learning how death teaches us to live life more profoundly; it is not a grim dismal work but rather a physical dance journey that celebrates life!”

Lliane Loots, whose choreographic credits include works made for Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre and for Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, is no stranger to making dance that asks questions. In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death offers the first major dance production of Flatfoot Dance Company for 2002 and features 18 dancers.

This production is also the first time that Lliane will be collaborating with artist Storm Janse van Rensburg, curator of the NSA Gallery. He has created a video installation that interfaces with both the dancers and the text used in the dance work. His video art work has gained significant notice in the last few years with his most recent work being for Jay Pather’s Cityscapes. “The biggest challenge of this work with Flatfoot has been to create one work, not just a video that stands as a backdrop to the dance … Lliane and I have had to find ways to let the choreography and the video speak to each other”.

Lighting is by local dance lighting expert Julian August best known for his amazing dance lighting for the JOMBA! Dance Festival. He has created subtle and evocative lighting that speaks with both the choreography and the video installation.

In The Valley of the Shadow of Death takes place from May 14 to 18 nightly at 19h00 in the Square Space Theatre. Tickets R15 (R10 students and scholars). All tickets purchased at the door on the night. For booking inquiries phone 031 260-3134 between 09h00 and 13h00 weekdays only.




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