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

festivals
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
KZNPO advert DTA advert .
See also our Classified ads
 

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

GRAHAMSTOWN - DANCE (article first published : 1999-07-6)

dance@youthlink is a collaborative effort between the Dance School from Queensland University of Technology, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Artsís Ballet Stream and the Technikon Pretoria Dance Theatre. The three companies have combined to perform new works representing cutting edge choreography from the three continents.

The programme starts with Song of Peace from Ballet Stream choreographed by Jeffrey Graham Hughes who has worked extensively in Hong Kong since 1995 and is now the artistic director of Ohio Ballet in the USA. The piece is set to Tarn Dunís stirring Symphony 1997 which was composed for the handing over of Hong Kong in 1997 from British colonial administration to Chinese sovereignty. The female dancers, light as thistledown, perform en pointe in flowing costumes embellished with a rich metallic gold trim which is echoed in the menís costumes. Considering the occasion for which it was created, itís obviously an invigorating and joyous piece, with uplifted arm movements if in praise and many whirls and leaps. This is a very impressive and disciplined group.

I guess it wouldnít be South Africa today if the local contribution to the programme didnít deal with violence or abuse in some way. A sad state of affairs but unfortunately a reality. Technikon Pretoria presented Billboard choreographed by Andile Sotiya assisted by Carol-Ann Ortlepp set to music by Hugh le Bars and Thomas Newman. A 1996 Technikon Pretoria graduate, Andile Sotiya is now a member of the Phoenix Dance Company in Leeds. This strong and moving work made a statement for standing for what is right and not being swayed to do otherwise. A woman is abused and has to stand by while she watches her abuser inflict the same violation on another, only to return to her again. As the lights go down, she finally asks for help.

The honours of the evening went to Queensland University of Technology Dance School with their highly dramatic Tension originally choreographed by QUT graduate Natalie Weir and remounted by Susan Caulfield-Leclercq. David Whitworthís lighting design first reveals the company seated on three benches in a long line at the back of the stage, bare muscular backs to the audience. The line rises and falls as if on a single breath then the uniformity is disturbed as hands and elbows appear and dancers break away, leaving the rest to watch in detachment.. Itís a highly physical, sensuous and exciting piece talking of love/hate relationships and, as the title states, tension in all its forms. Although there is one singularly notable sequence where the female dancer is so devoid of tension as to be virtually bone-less - soft spun silk, where the previous mood was one of steel. The work ends with the tension being replace by give-and-take relationships, the energies and tensions are still there but the mood is now positive. It could have been written as a plea to South Africaís society.

In the final item, all three companies combined for Cumelele which was choreographed by Debra Marriott, formerly of the Playhouse Dance Company. With music from Amampondoís Drums for Tomorrow, it presented an explosion of dance from some of the most highly skilled and innovative dancers seen at the City Hall venue this festival.


 A current news
crafts
dance
festivals
drama
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

leisuresmart
letters to the editor

classified ads

 A archives
crafts
dance
drama
festivals
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

letters

home page


a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart