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KEIJU (FAIRY) (article first published : 2003-08-22)

The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience is a week-long celebration of dance showcasing a range of top local and international dance from August 22 to 31. Venues include the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the NSA Gallery, Wiggins Hall in Cato Manor and the Austerville Hall in Wentworth.

In her opening, well-known choreographer and JOMBA’s artistic director Lliane Loots paid tribute to the dancers of South Africa and the path travelled when “walking is turned into art”.

This was followed by the opening production created and performed by Finnish choreographer Jyrki Karttunen who has danced in the ranks of the Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company (1989-93) and performed in the Finnish National Ballet as a visiting soloist.

He has performed in major contemporary choreographic works in addition to making new works of his own and in 1997 and 2000, was awarded a three-year state grant for dance in Finland. He will conduct an open level technique class tomorrow (August 23) from 09h00 at UND Dance Studio.

Keiju (Fairy) is described as “a dance work for adults disguised as a fairy tale”. What it is, and audience response tonight proved this, is pure magic created by movement, dance and video technology.

In a beautifully-lit performance, and wearing a fantastical floating outfit with marigold head-dress and “buttons”, Jyrki becomes a sprite-like creature. Light as air, his focused control in the opening section was most impressive. Cleverly creating “alter egos” – and at times the “cast” increases to about 50! - Jyrki has produced a riveting piece with the help of Kimmo Karjunen and Timo Hynninen.

Set to music by Leena Jousenlahti, Keiju (Fairy) provides fun in the puckish humour, artistic delight in the beautiful images and visual appreciation in the execution of them. The imagery is further enhanced by the thrown shadows onto the back curtains. The audience can be excused for wondering what is real and what is not.

There is one more performance tomorrow evening (August 23) at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 19h30. Don’t miss it.

The Centre for Creative Arts acknowledges the kind support of principal sponsors The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and The Royal Netherlands Embassy, as well as sponsors and partners The National Arts Council of South Africa, Ethekwini Municipality, Hivos, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Embassy of Finland (SA), The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), University of Natal - Public Affairs Division, NSA Gallery and the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased through Computicket or at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre one hour before performances. Festival enquiries on 031 260 2506 or 260 3118, e-mail: jomba@nu.ac.za or visit www.und.ac.za/und/carts – Caroline Smart




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