A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

dance
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

LOVE BYTES (article first published : 2005-06-2)

New choreography, new faces and a whole explosion of new talent make for Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre’s latest programme. Lasting just over 70 minutes, it’s a must-see if you enjoy contemporary dance. Directed by Jay Pather, Love Bytes, features guest artists and embraces the theme of love in a variety of forms, concentrating on movement rather than dramatic content.

The brief given to well-established and acclaimed Siwela Sonke choreographers Ntombi Gasa, Eric Shabalala, Neliswa Rushualang and Simpiwe Magazi was to focus specifically on dance, ie to return to working with the body as an expressive tool within a theatre space. The result is four works with their own unique moods and journeys performed in the Playhouse Loft, now mercifully devoid of tatty and tired black curtains which deaden the sound. The plain and unvarnished boards provide a good acoustic but also offer a fascinating new dimension. In the first piece, two characters move away to a dressing table and, because there are wood planks surrounding them, one feels as if they have moved into an entirely new space.

Ntombi Gasa’s sophisticated and moody Love Connection is played out to a jazzy rock theme. A flamboyant woman flirts with four young men, caring little for her own part in the process. She eventually finds a level of peaceful interaction with the one who remains mostly in the background. As the woman, Rhia Ryan is a wonderful new energy on the dance scene and I hope we see much more of her.

In Natives to Be, Eric Shabalala looks at relationships across a cultural, tribal, religious divide. He focuses on building a new nation when love and togetherness between people have the capacity to overcome barriers of all kind. Kasia Stempowski impresses with a focused performance and she was particularly graceful in a long sequence across the stage as she moved slowly away from her partner.

Neliswa Rushualang has the capacity to take a simple phrase or an idea and build on it, to great effect. Slipping through my Fingers looks at those few seconds at the altar when the bride and groom are poised to say those life-altering words: “I do”. She considers the fact that when falling in love, a person practically hands over his or her heart to a complete stranger. In this case, the man is unable to commit but the woman doesn’t give up. A glamorous beaded wedding dress is as much a performer as the dancers.

Simpiwe Magazi describes his We and I in this way: “You walk around along the dusted streets of a place, finding that there is nothing that is compared and nothing that an individual can compare to ... You find yourself surrounded by an open space from one point to another." The work was a true showcase for the talents of Siyanda Duma who considerably impressed in this emotional and forceful piece.

Apart from those already mentioned, the company of Love Bytes includes Rachel Abrahams, Sibusiso Gantsa, Jaydene Head, Jamaine Hogg, Sifiso Majola, Lindsay McDonald, Jabulani Mfeka, Sandile Mkhize, Sipho Mthombeni, Sanele Mzinyane, Sibusiso Ngidi, Mxolisi Nkomonde and Ntokozo Shezi.

Love Bytes runs in the Playhouse Loft from June 1 to 5. Performances Wednesday to Saturday at 19h00 (Sunday at 18h00) with special schools performances at 11h00 on Thursday and Friday. Booking through Computicket or Dial a Seat on 031 369 9444. – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart