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FOUR COLOURS OF TRANSPARENCY (article first published : 2004-10-7)

Second- and third-year Durban Institute of Technology (DIT) dance specialist students must surely consider themselves extremely privileged to have been part of the current production at the Courtyard Theatre, four colours of transparency.

This is DIT’s Department of Performance Studies’ annual dance production at the Courtyard Theatre and the programme is made up of works created specially for the students by established choreographers. And when these choreographers are Deanne MacIntosh, Thulebona Mzizi and the multi-award winning choreographers, David Gouldie and Sbonakaliso Ndaba, you know you’re in for something good.

I was not disappointed. The standard of performance was excellent; the choreographers creating exciting and challenging work for various levels of experience and capability and, in the case of the last two pieces, the dancers would have acquitted themselves well on any professional platform.

Titled simply “Sections”, the four works were interestingly linked with poetry or narrative text and there were three beautiful guest performances from Musa Hlatswayo of Flatfoot Dance Company, Quinton Ribbonaar of Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company and Mlekeleli Khuzwayo of Phenduka Dance Theatre.

Section I, choreographed by Deanne MacIntosh, had the dancers in glitzy sequinned outfits performing varying dance styles from hip hop to classical Indian which made for a rather muddled whole. I wasn’t able to identify her but I was much impressed by one dancer who lipsynched to a torchy jazz number.

Thulebona Mzizi’s Section II was full of energy in Sophiatown jazz style. As with three of the pieces, Section II incorporated various moods including an eloquent section with candles. I was delighted to see the neat and very funny solution to a dropped hat!

Section III choreographed by David Gouldie was very impressive and my favourite of the evening. Here, particularly, the dancers’ abilities were used to optimum effect resulting in good focused performances. Special mention must be made of Tommy Kyd who really came into his own. I was also struck by the simple, colourful and attractive appliqued costume accessories.

Although I had to leave before the end of the show to do a live broadcast, Sbonakaliso Ndaba’s Section IV was a highly entertaining slick streetwise piece and I particularly enjoyed the featured male dancer.

The programme is complemented by a hilarious “welcoming committee” organised by Tommy Kydd in the couryard outside the theatre and an art exhibition in the foyer by 4th year fine art student Mondli Mandada.

four colours of transparency runs at the Courtyard Theatre in Mansfield Road until October 9 at 19h00. Tickets R30 (R15 students and pensioners) at the door. More information on 031 204 2194. – Caroline Smart




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