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GENESIS - AFTER THE STORM (article first published : 2005-03-2)

Well-known for his fine performances with Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, Quinton Ribbonaar founded the Durban City Dance Company in 2002. This professional schools’ educational dance company addresses issues affecting youth in an ever-changing society. A community and developmental based institution, it runs dance and movement classes, outreach based productions and workshops throughout the province, offering learners an opportunity to experience the healing quality of dance.

The DCDC’s production Genesis - After the Storm is currently running in the Playhouse Loft as part of the Playhouse Company’s Senior Primary Schools programme. It’s the story of a young girl who discovers that six colours are missing from the rainbow and her mission is to find them.

The “colours” are large envelopes which contain messages and questions, most of which the young members of the audience answer with alacrity although they were a bit off-beam in asserting that Nelson Mandela was released from Robben Island in 1994. The teachers need to go back and address that one in a hurry!

The sincerity and honesty of Farla Ribbonaar’s performance holds Genesis - After the Storm together. With her bright yellow and black bee shoulder bag, belting around on a scooter, she charmed one and all. Her only drawback is inconsistent voice projection and she needs to work on this or it will mar her progress.

It’s an engaging piece about cultural values, tolerance and mutual respect but the inclusion of the dance sequences don’t always mix easily with the narrative. However, I simply delighted in the ballet sequence in which Jann Esterhuizen appeared en pointe in a tutu carrying the design of the ever-versatile South African flag, dancing to The Click Song. Wonderful stuff!

Quinton Ribbonaar and FFFDC’s fine performer, Angela Lardant, completed the dance trio while the spirited and diminutive Dumisile Mqadi proved she is blazing forwards as an actress and dancer to watch.

Among the props is a most wonderful selection of aluminium or foil tubing which upstaged all the performers. The tubes almost take on their own life and at one stage refused to be controlled!

Genesis - After the Storm forms a double bill with Amagama Amathatu which focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness (see review in Drama). Shows are at 11h00 until March 11. Tickets R15 per learner, with one teacher per 30 pupils admitted free. To book call the Playhouse Box-office on 031 369 9555. – Caroline Smart




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