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EDGE (article first published : 2003-03-24)

Having just opened the FNB Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg with the highly acclaimed CityScapes, the Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre presents a season of innovative, fresh and exciting art - Edge -which comes to the Playhouse Drama in April.

Edge celebrates new dance, fashion and video art created by Durban's newest breed of sassy, bright sparks in contemporary choreography, fashion design and video art. The production celebrates new identities, new design, and new thoughts. It features over ten young artists who have created dance, fashion and visual imagery that offer a multi-layered, crisp and vivid view of an emerging South Africa. Funny, witty, provocative and moving, the various works are by artists who span a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Siwela Sonke director Jay Pather (who re-appears since escaping Isidingo after things got too hot with Cherel….) will direct the production.

Choreographers include the award winning Ntombi Gasa. Both she and Neliswa Rushualang were invited to present their choreography in Grenoble, France last year.

Others include Hlengiwe Lushaba and Siyanda Duma who were both selected to attend a choreographic residency run as part of this year's Dance Umbrella as well as having been commissioned (not once, but twice!) by First National Bank to present new works at the Jomba! Dance Festival. Hlengiwe featured as one of four artists at the NSA's Young Artists Project and Siyanda was also awarded a three month choreographic residency in Denmark.

Completing the choreography brat pack are Siwela Sonke veteran Eric Shabalala and Samantha Wright, a recent graduate of Durban Institute of Technology.

The visual art component features two video artists: Thando Mama and Jan Henry Booysens who will present wide screen projections of their video art dissecting with candour and courage themes of race, nationhood and contemporary South Africa.

“As a third dimension to art-as-entertainment as well as food for the soul, Edge features fashion-as-art,” says Jay. “The production will showcase not only garments by young designers but also performances that highlights what's going on in the minds of these designers and presents live models, mannequins and all, to entertain as well as enlighten.”

Edge runs at the Playhouse Drama Theatre from April 11 to 13 and again from April 18 to 20 at 19h00 (Sundays at 15h00). Tickets R25 and R20 (concessions) booked through Computicket or Dial A Seat on 031 369 9555. There are three performances available for schools from April 15 to 17 at 12h00 at reduced rates for block bookings.

The production is presented by Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, in association with the Playhouse Company and the National Arts Council.




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