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DANCE UMBRELLA AT CONSTITUTION HILL (article first published : 2005-03-1)

The FNB Dance Umbrella opened last week and will run in various venues in Johannesburg until March 19, 2005.

One of the highlights this year is a new work from Durban-based choreographer Jay Pather, who will be working in various spaces in Constitution Hill with a work entitled The beautiful ones must be born on March 5 and 6 at 18h00.

The beautiful ones must be born takes its title and premise from the novel, The beautiful ones are not yet born by Ayi Kwei Armah, essentially about post-independent Ghana.

In South Africa now, in the wake of ten years democracy parties, the dance theatre production is a conversation on several levels: with Armah's novel, impulses of violence, deferred rage, corruption, conscience, deceit, collusion, apathy, change and the perpetual quest for justice. In this regard the work which takes place at various spaces at Constitution Hill also becomes a conversation with a history replete with struggle, nobility and sacrifice, The spaces, large in both size and history serve at once as revered temple and places of ironic nostalgia.

The work is conceived by Jay Pather who also works with the traditional and the classical as sharp relief to the contemporary. Here he works with dance styles from classical Zulu, Indian and ballet, to contemporary dance, video art and text. The range of dancers has been drawn from several companies: Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre and Pravika's Kathak Kendra from Kwa Zulu Natal and Moving into Dance and the graduates of the South African Ballet Theatre from Gauteng.

Music has been composed and arranged by Jurgen Brauninger while the production also features live musician, Sazi Dlamini. Video artists include Rike Sitas, Dineo Mopape and Storm Janse van Rensburg.

The production consists of six Acts which take place at several spaces at Constitution Hill such as the Great African Steps, Constitutional Square and the Tower and Mandela Courtyards. Patrons are advised to enter through Sam Hancock Drive. There is a certain amount of walking and climbing of stairs. Patrons are advised to dress accordingly. The performance time is 80 minutes, however with moving from space to space the overall time is estimated at 100 minutes.

Tickets R40 at the door or booked at Computicket. Concessions/block bookings and subscription tickets are available.

Further information on 011 482 4140/ 011 482 5179/ 482 5615 or e-mail danceumbrella@artslink.co.za

Visit www.artslink.co.za/arts for updated programme schedules.

The FNB Dance Umbrella 2005 has been made possible with assistance from First National Bank; The French Institute of South Africa; Business and Arts South Africa; the National Arts Council, Pro-Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, The British Council, Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture and Johannesburg Development Agency.




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