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THE DANCE JOURNEY (article first published : 2002-09-12)

The Dance Journey is a dance showcase for schools presented by the innovative Eager Artists theatre company. Through a sequence of dance styles linked with a poetic narrative, it explains how everyday life influences dance in South Africa.

The setting is basic with an imposing high four-sided structure which can be turned to represent majestic reeds and grasses, the steel structures of a minefield or the corrugated roofs of township houses.

The production was the brainchild of Eager Artists director Jerry Pooe. Drawing on work the company had done several years ago, the cast choreographed and workshopped The Dance Journey with Jerry Pooe providing the final touches.

Special mention must be made of Winnie Majola, Mnatha Vika, Buyani Shangase and one of Eager Artists’ best assets, Mbeki Mabida whose comedy expertise is always displayed to best advantage.

Eager Artists continue to impress with their discipline and improving dramatic skills. Jerry Pooe stretches their talents in a variety of productions and at present he and the company are involved in The Living Room Programme, an exciting community project which was inspired by a programme they observed in Buffalo New York. Eager Artists visit Buffalo annually in a collaborative venture with the University at Buffalo Center.

The US Living Room Programme was organised and presented by choreographer Yoshiko Chuma and the school of Hard Knocks and dance space project in New York City’s East Village.

Supported by Pro Helvetia and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the concept is to take a production to areas where the audience numbers not more than 30 such as in private homes, old age institutions, churches and small community centres. Performances are free and followed by discussions and a meal. Eager Artists currently offer four shows to choose from, all written and directed by Jerry Pooe. (See separate article on Dance pages)

More information from Eager Artists on 031 305-1624 or e-mail info@eagerartists.co.za – Caroline Smart




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