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DANCE FESTIVAL 2003 (article first published : 2003-04-15)

Following the announcement last year that FNB had withdrawn its support for the annual FNB Vita Dance Umdudo hosted in Grahamstown since 1996 it was hoped that the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture and the Provincial Arts & Culture Council would step in to finance the costs of the festival for 2003. Officials from the department had verbally indicated a number of times their willingness to do so but when pressed for a written agreement were unable to commit.

The festival renamed Dance Festival 2003 will be presented at the Rhodes University Theatre by the Rhodes Drama Department and the First Physical Theatre Company. Festival Director Calum Stevenson said that while he was disappointed that the festival was limited this year to invited artists only "we feel confident that audiences will be enormously satisfied by the smaller but exciting line-up.

"We are also confident that there are possibilities for future sponsorship given the strong developmental history of the event. We believe that there are opportunities to re-establish the festival as a provincial event and even to grow it into a national event on the dance calendar."

The three day line-up consists of work by staff and students of the University, professionals from First Physical, and graduates of the company's professional performance programme. Choreographers include Andrew Buckland, Lulama Cosa, Jenni-lee Crewe, Juanita Finestone, Gary Gordon, Zoey Lapinsky, Vuyani Hoboshe, Bailey Snyman, Vincent Truter, Nyakonzima Tyota, and the Rhodes choreography students.

Dance Festival 2003 runs at the Rhodes Theatre from May 1 to 3. Enquiries to 046 622 3897 or e-mail First.Physical@ru.ac.za




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