A trio and a troupe of talent

2016-10-23 20:00

Johannesburg - A trio of creative geniuses came together this weekend to stage a slick show at the opulent Lyric theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

Joys of Sharing was a collaborative production featuring Grammy-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman, platinum-selling Afro-soul diva Simphiwe Dana and the Vuyani Dance Company – headed by choreographer extraordinaire Gregory Maqoma, who also directed the entire ensemble.

Music and dance intertwined to showcase the talents of each of the three artists, as well as the dance troupe and accompanying band.

Contrary to the adage, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, each of the three shone in their solos and came together seamlessly in duet and group performances.

Maqoma, who is the founder and executive creative director of the Newtown-based contemporary dance company Vuyani, has garnered acclaim as an innovative dancer.

He has also become known for his ability to stage visually arresting works of contemporary dance, and live music here and overseas.

He captivated the audience with his moves, attuning his body perfectly to every beat and melody meted out by Kellerman and Dana.

His dance troupe, inspired by their leader, were just as impressive.

Their unwavering focus, energy and expressiveness were a joy to behold. Kudos to their costume designer for outfits which ranged from androgynous to lacy to African traditional.

Dana initially took to the stage cutting a subdued figure, although her voice was at its impassioned best.

She gradually found the regal stage presence to match her pitch-perfect inflections, wooing and serenading the audience in her striking attire.

The three artists wore white for the first half of the performance and black for the second, in keeping with the sophisticated ambience.

Dana interspersed some of her famous numbers with a tributary song to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, after which Kellerman played a piece dedicated to Madiba.

A standout feature was Maqoma’s stunning interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero.

By the end of the show, guests were no longer seated but dancing and singing along. Justice Edwin Cameron was spotted among them.

My only gripe was that the theatre was not filled to the brim, as it deserved to be. South Africans should show as much support and appreciation for local artists as they do for those coming from overseas.

A live DVD recording of the show will be made available.  

(Photos: Marijke Willems)   

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