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
 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.

PETRA (article first published : 2005-07-5)

Prepare to be blown away with Petra presented by the Forgotten Angle Theatre collaborative and choreographed by P J Sabbagha, winner of the 2005 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance.

Itís a powerful and multi-layered piece of multimedia dance theatre, inspired by a tragic love story confided to Sabbagha. There is much in the piece about secrecy, snatched liaisons and frantic moments of togetherness.

A man, originally dressed in womenís clothing, enters into a highly physical relationship with another man while those around them try to disturb their island of closeness. We see the sudden panic when the couple is separated momentarily. After they part, he forms an equally intense relationship with a woman. He goes into the army and, desperate to hear from him, she becomes a man and joins up. The magic works once again but she doesnít reveal to him her new identity (illogically, he doesnít recognise her but perhaps thatís what the army does to one!) and their colleagues brutally humiliate them.

Much of this clarity is gained from the programme notes but without access to this, it would be quite difficult to extract the storyline from the performance, as the womanís change of identity is not marked.

There are moments of exquisite beauty and just when you are becoming enveloped in sensuality, comes a sense of irony or comedy. Deliberate? To keep us from moving in a comfort zone? Perhaps. Or maybe Sabbagha is reminding us of the shifting nature of life.

Two well-known performers are seen in a different light Ė well for me, coming from Durban, anyway. Singer Jennifer Ferguson of the luxuriant locks hovers on the stage as a sympathetic figure and provides a chilling soundtrack to a section dealing with the rigours of military conscription and the underworld of repressed sexuality. Dawie Minaar proves that he is just as capable of movement as he is of acting. This is the first time I have seen him in a dance work and I hope it wonít be the last.

Digital and video art have now become an integral part of the dance genre and Nathanial Stern has created some exciting and stirring images, which both complement and contradict. Add Carry Prestonís evocative lighting design and the result is a visually exciting and emotionally moving production. Top this with a powerful soundtrack and itís a dance work that will grab all your senses.

There are two more performances of Petra at Rhodes Theatre: July 5 at 14h00 and 19h00. Ė 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