A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

dance
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

HEAD FIRST (article first published : 2003-08-1)

Wouter Gildenhuys initiated Phenduka Dance Theatre in 1989 as a project for unemployed youngsters. Two of the original members, Sbonakaliso Ndaba and Sifiso Kweyana then trained at Jazzart Dance Theatre under Alfred Hinkel who had also been part of Phenduka’s creation. Teaming up with Jazzart colleague Ondine Bello, Sbonakaliso and Sifiso returned to Durban to pick up where the original project left off. Re-established in March 2001, Phenduka Dance Theatre has the primary objective of developing a professional company from within the creative circle of KZN.

Head First which has performances in the Playhouse Loft Theatre until August 3 is Phenduka’s first full-length season and features ten trainees who are nearing the end of their second year.

I was impressed with the standard of performance and the discipline of the company members. If these are trainees only in their second year, it promises a future of highly exciting and stimluating dance for this company. The programme included five numbers – Ekhaya Ngingumhambi (I am a Stranger at Home); This Man, Whathefaa…!, Abafana and Gathering.

Sifiso Kweyama choreographed Ekhaya Ngingumhambi a work that dealt with tensions, aggression and included some fascinating and exciting sequences.

With its strong comedic value, Whathefaa… was obviously the most popular number of the evening. This was a hilarious piece involving a member of a church congregation whose tranquility is turned upside down when he is joined by a soccer fan, a body-building fanatic, wino and someone with a need for a toilet … and they all want to sit on his bench! A very physical piece, it was well controlled and focused.

Sbonakaliso Ndaba choreographed the rest of the works which included This Man, a solo piece performed by Sibusiso Ngidi. While it had much aggressive energy, it tended tend towards the repetitive. Abafana was an interesting and dramatic exploration into the genre of gumboot dance.

The major work of the programme, Gathering, was the highlight of the evening. Sbonakaliso produced some beautiful images and moments of exquisite energy. The clever use of grass mats made for fascinating representations of huts or blankets or grandiose clothing. Dealing with a traditional community in the process of consolidating the past in order to face the future, the work was commissioned by DaimlerChrysler as part of Sbonakaliso’s prize for winning the prestigious DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Choreography, 2003.

Sbonakaliso Ndaba has been described as one of the key young dynamic choreographers in South Africa in the way in which she is creating an African contemporary dance. I certainly have no argument with this claim. If you’re interested in exciting and innovative dance, don’t miss this one and stand by for great things to come!

Book through Computicket. More information from Ondine Bello on 083 686 4777 or e-mail: phenduka@email.com – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart