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HOME (article first published : 2003-10-16)

Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre follows their successful CityScapes presented at the Durban Art Gallery last year with their latest work Home directed by JayPather.

The production was especially commissioned by the National Arts Festival for this year¹s Main Festival Programme. Chosen as one of ten “must see” productions at the Festival by The Star, in Johannesburg, Home played to critical and popular acclaim.

The production comprises a series of works set inside various “home” spaces: a bedroom, a kitchen, playground, a solitary uncluttered space, a migrant worker¹s cubicle and a lounge. In the main, the works revisit the paradox of the desire for both security and freedom, restlessness and the aching need for rest. Home also serves as a metaphor (through its use of a range of visual imagery, dance and performance styles) for larger, global impulses of inward looking in the threat of change.

As with CityScapes, Home is also a collaboration between dance and the visual arts.

The production embraces a range of dance forms from the contemporary to traditional African, physical theatre, the rousing rhythms of Kathak and the lyrical, sculpturesque Bharatha Natyam. Dance and ritual come together to evoke intimate, interior moments of belonging/dislocation and nuturing/fleeing.

In tandem, visual artist Jo Ratcliffe provides startling visual images of the legendary Devonshire Hotel while Milijana Babic¹s unsettling home sculptures include a wrought-iron swing caught in mid-air without an occupant. Angela Buckland¹s photography meticulously examines the bunkers of migrant workers in their temporary homes. Video artists, Storm Janse van Rensburg, Greg Streak and Jan Henri Booyens, complete the impressive list of visual artists whose work is featured in the production.

Home features a full company of dancers with the special addition of acclaimed Kathak dancer Vaibhav Joshi who comes down from Mumbai especially for this production. The production also features lighting design by veteran Playhouse Company designer Richard Parker.

With the very foundations of war taking on a completely new face, the phrase “threat closer to home” has become palpable. In global unease, the inviolate home becomes refuge and once more a symbol of sanctity. Shifting identities however, keep home truths in flux and the home, just as notions of “the people” or the family has become all flux. Hotels and cardboard boxes and bomb shelters thrive as homes while picket fenced suburbia caves in, give in to fluid identities or acquire steel gates to restore sanctity and uneasy safety. This provides the impetus for Home which runs at the Durban Art Gallery from October 29 to November 9.

For more information contact 031 311 2268/307 6686. Booking through Computicket.




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