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DESERT FLOWERS (article first published : 2004-06-12)

Accomplished Durban-based Spanish dancer and teacher, Linda Vargas, has created an innovative Flamenco inspired dance drama: Desert Flowers which will be staged at the Playhouse Drama from June 24 until 26.

Linda describes the production as "A mosaic of Flamenco dance together with Africa, Eastern and European influences which combine in an exciting and vibrant new dance drama performed to live music"

Linda's husband, masterful Flamenco guitarist Demi Fernandez, has arranged the evocative, visual, distinctive score. He will be performing the music live together with experienced musos, Martin Sigamoney, Bruce Baker (Landscape Prayers) and Alan Bowen.

The dancers have been carefully chosen to ensure that the cast represents an eclectic mix of dance disciplines, sensibilities, styles and genres. Over and above Flamenco-focused dancers from Linda's company, there will be young emerging dancers and an impressive line up of guest dancers: Louise Fraquet (Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company); Shiksha Rampathar (Flat Foot Dance Company); Mlu Zondi, Sifiso Majola and Mlekeleli Khuzwayo (Phenduka Dance Theatre) and Neliswa Rushulang and Hlengiwe Ncube (Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre).

The guest dancers join Linda Vargas, Juana Vargas, David Romero, Enrique Marin, Fernando Marin, Rocio Maya, Carmela Murley and Toni D'Amant from Linda's company. In total - the whole cast comprises of 20 performers and 20 children.

"Like primitive man, we dance to release our emotions”, said Linda. “Desert Flowers is a direct expression of that impulse in me. It has its roots in my own personal experience and yet, transformed, it embraces emotions that can be shared by many. Many of us may find ourselves in what appears to be a place of little hope - a desert. Yet the desert flower with its deep roots springs forth as a reminder of the beauty, life, and hope that can be found where there seems to be none.”

Desert Flowers runs at the Playhouse Drama Theatre from June 24 - 26. Nightly at 19h30 (June 26 at 14h30 and 19h30). Tickets through Playhouse Dial-A-Seat on 031 369 9444 or Computicket outlets or on Computicket booking line on 011 340 8000. Tickets are R55 (R45 pensioners, students and block bookings of ten or more people). The Saturday matinee is also R45.




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