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.

DANCE UNLIMITED (article first published : 2005-09-2)

The Department of Drama Studies at the Durban Institute of Technology presents Dance Unlimited at The Courtyard Theatre at the DIT Mansfield Road campus. The programme includes five dance pieces choreographed by Mdu Mtshali, Sphelele Nzma, S’fiso Khumalo and S’fiso Ngcobo.

This is an interesting new grouping of choreographers and I wondered as to how the line-up came about until I discovered that all four had appeared together in the smash-hit African Footprint which recently finished its long-running season at the new iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom.

With this information in mind, my assessment of the evening became clearer. The African Footprint influence is very strong from these four choreographers in the sense that the imagery is clear-cut and accessible. Ensemble work is compact - tight both in movement and in length, breaking up into smaller groupings or duos so that the flow of energy varies. There’s a strong accent on humour and emotions, making the works understandable by one and all.

Dance Piece One: Thinking With Our Feet and Fingers choreographed by Mdu Mtshali dealt with the notion that “we are all just finding our feet”. White umbrellas hang from the ceiling and the dancers progress through this quirky piece that makes much use of the index finger – which represents an object of focus or meditation.

S’Fiso Khumalo’s Dance Piece Two: Lets talk through it looks at the capacity to use speech rather than weaponry as the ultimate factor in defusing situations. This was mainly an ensemble work, well performed.

Dance Piece Three, the highlight of the evening for me, was choreographed by the cast members, Uprising Souls, and supervised by Mdu Mtshali. It was presented at the recent contemporary dance festival Jomba! 2005! and I understand that Mdu would like to explore it further and present it again next year. It is a riveting work with strong sexual connotations.

Dance Piece Four: Togetherness is choreographed by Sfiso Ngcobo and draws on the Three Musketeers’ motto: “All for one and one for all!” It deals with provocative acts both harmless and aggressive with some vigorous ensemble work and a beautiful love trio.

Dance Piece Five: Love Fairytale choreographed by Sphelele Nzama has loads of knockabout humour with some delightful little scenes such as a mother and daughter relationship and a hanging that goes wrong. There are flares of passion, of anger, of love, of disdain … but people get over them and life goes on, just the same.

Linking the dance pieces were musical interludes where students performed well-known musical numbers. In the main, these pieces were too ambitious for the performers but they coped well and acquitted themselves admirably. The trick is to remember that there comes a point of no return in the build-up to performance pitch and whether you are ready or not, just drive like a bulldozer over the nerves and enjoy it! The audience will pick up this energy and forgive many shortcomings.

The songs were accompanied by Dana Hadjiev who also gave a sensitive and beautiful rendering of Pie Jesu to Dance Piece Three.

While there was a high standard of performance throughout, certain dancers impressed me with their focus. These were Sthembiso Blose, Siyabonga Cele, Zama Cele, Bonga Dlamini, Thembisa Jawula, Zama Magubane, Lynn Mbatha, Nontobeko Mbatha, S’dumo Mtshali, Nomfezeko Mjwara, Victor Ndawo, Nelly Ngcongo, Nolwazi Shange and Suiyen Valerie Smith.

Dance Unlimited runs at 19h00 in the Courtyard Theatre at DIT, Mansfield Road until September 3. Tickets R30 (R15 scholars, R5 DIT students). Bookings on 031 204 2194, fax 031 204 2820 or e-mail: pamdt@dit.ac.za – 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