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WALKING LIKE AN AFRICAN (article first published : 2004-05-29)

Flatfoot Dance Company premiers three contemporary dance works in its all new season, Walking Like An African. The production features choreography by three award-winning KZN dance makers, Lliane Loots, Musa Hlatshwayo and Sbonakaliso Ndaba.

Walking Like An African is Flatfoot Dance Company's response to ten years of democracy. “It is a season of beautiful dance work that looks into the heart and soul of this country we call home,” says artistic director Lliane Loots. “All three new works ask us to re-imagine ourselves as children of the South; our traditions, our layered histories, our ability to walk with grace and care on this African soil; and cynically questions whether the African renaissance includes driving a 4 x 4.”

Award-winning choreographer Lliane Loots’s new work for Flatfoot, they have not wept, the men of my country, teams her again with talented actor/writer's Iain Robinson and Quincy Fynn, in a hard hitting and evocative physical theatre piece that compassionately explores constructions of masculinity in South African history. Working with original text and dance, they have not wept is an emotional journey which seeks to understand, rather than judge, the country’s legacy of personal and political male violence. Lliane's work has gained much attention nationally with her recently having been one of two South African choreographers to be awarded a grant to premier new work at this years 2004 Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg. they have not wept promises to tell the forgotten (and very personal) histories of this country; a theme she is often noted for using in her dance work.

Flatfoot's Musa Hlatshwayo new work,Imbokodo - The Tribe of She, is a danced meeting place between the choreographer’s own memories of all the women who influenced his upbringing as a young urban Zulu man, with seven female Flatfoot dancers and their contemporary training. The work delves into the wedding rituals and hymns sung by Zulu women while evoking the very contemporary strengths of South African women in the 21st century. With its critical look at traditional African rituals, Musa's choreography has gained considerable attention in the last two years. He was selected as the only South African choreographer – with Flatfoot Dance Company being the only dance company - to present work at the Sanga 3 All Africa choreography competition held in Madagascar 2003.

Sbonakaliso Ndaba comes to this Flatfoot season as a guest choreographer from her award-winning Phenduka Dance Theatre. Her new work, Disconnect was commissioned for Flatfoot and is “a profound questioning of the way in which we as Africans, walking on this Southern earth, choose or avoid the real connections to both each other and the soil”. In her award winning style of emerging African contemporary language, Sbonakaliso manages to evoke whole landscapes in her fusing of the traditional and contemporary.

Flatfoot Dance Company's Walking Like An African promises to engage and entertain not only contemporary dance fans but those seeking new and critical ways of walking on the South African soil.

The production runs in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from June 8 to 13 at 19h30. Book at Computicket and tickets are available each evening at the Sneddon box office 40 minutes before the show. Tickets R45 (R30 pensioners, students and scholars) with block bookings R30 per seat (more than 10 seats):




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