5 of Adrienne Sichel’s top Dance Umbrella festival picks

2017-02-19 06:01
 

Johannesburg - We asked the grande dame of contemporary dance writing, Adrienne Sichel, to help us with the Dance Umbrella 2017 programme.

Here’s what she wrote: "For close to 30 years, Dance Umbrella has been all about the familiar, the unfamiliar and, above all, about discovery.

"The 2017 edition is no exception. Artistic director Georgina Thomson’s tightly curated programming offers a diverse range of contemporary dance theatre forms, expressions and perspectives that draw on a variety of techniques and aesthetics.

“One way to navigate this line-up presented at the Wits Theatre [where the Dance Umbrella originated], the Workers’ Museum in Newtown and the National School of the Arts sports field, also in Braamfontein, is by theme.”

1) Gritty cross-continental and regional collaborations:

Top of the list is the playfully pertinent Lady, Lady, co-created and performed by South Africa’s Desiré Davids, Madagascar’s pioneering Gaby Saranouffi and Mozambique’s Edna Jaime; Saranouffi and her life and creative partner Moeketsi Koena link up with French photographer Denis Rion for Corps; JM Coetzee’s classic 1977 novel and Njabulo Ndebele’s 1991 essays Rediscovery of the Ordinary inspire The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative’s Fana Tshabalala and Berlin’s Constanza Macras/Dorky Park for In the Heart of the Country; and Joburg’s daring Kieron Jina joins Marc Philipp Gabriel for Down to Earth, a co-production by Tanzfabrik Berlin and University of Johannesburg Arts & Culture.

2) Site-specific and installation adventures:

The opening work, Nhlanhla Mahlangu’s Worker’s CHANT (Workers’ Museum); South African Rudi van der Merwe and Beatrice Graf’s Trophée.

3) Intriguing new work highlighting evolving choreographic signatures:

Oscar Buthelezi’s Stuck Souls (Moving into Dance Mophatong); and Alan Parker’s award-winning installation solo Detritus for One.

4) Notable companies on the Dance Umbrella radar:

Maritzburg’s ReRouted Dance Theatre Company (Bonwa Mbontsi and Tegan Peacock); and the revived Jazzart Dance Theatre, choreographed by Sifiso Kweyama.

5) Unmissable:

Mamela Nyamza takes aim at religion, political history and gender in her duet De-Apart-Hate.

Read more on:    theatre  |  dance

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