Dance Archive

…and so you see… our honourable blue sky and ever enduring sun… can only be consumed slice by slice…: it is everything

Blood red lights radiate down on us. Their buzzing heat intensifies. Dismal looking cattle appear on the screen upstage. We, herded together in discomfort… witness another being birthed into this world. Slowly, slight shifts emanate from the until now static structure downstage. A man picks up a knife. He is Thabo Pule, the camera controller

In C: careful, contained, controlled

Although In C is part of a double bill with Doda by Musa Hlatshwayo, the two works are so disparate, I decided they couldn’t be reviewed together. So, below, In C. (Doda, here.) In C, choreographed by Louise Coetzer, falls within the school of neoclassical dance and whilst I’m personally not the greatest fan, I

Doda: Damn the Man

I’ve always thought double bills are billed together to somehow ‘speak’ to each other. At least for me, Doda by Musa Hlatshwayo and In C by Louise Coetzer are polar opposites – besides sharing the same venue at the Dance Umbrella. Doda is furious and intense and expressive. In C is controlled and contained. Unlike

Coloured Swans 1: Khoiswan: what’s between black & white?

Coloured. Coon. Café latte. Half-caste. Half-baked. Half-breed. Hottentot. Not black. Not white. Right? Choreographer and dancer Moya Michael, in collaboration with visual and performance artist Tracey Rose, both with Khoisan ancestry, pick apart the history of the “vacuous” (so stated by Michael’s uncle) and colonial-given, collective term ‘coloured’, in the work Coloured Swans 1: Khoiswan.

Tswalo: Mystical made manifest

The cycle of birth, life and death is a rather large theme to tackle in a performance. Although, at the same time, perhaps the simplest. All encompassing, yet something each one of us has experienced, is experiencing, and will experience. Or perhaps we’ve experienced it all before, many times. Whatever your view, it’s almost impossible

Rock to the Core: cracking the foundations

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mamela Nyamza’s work is disruptive and provocative and alienating, sometimes ugly, sometimes unbearable in its unrelenting purpose, always hard-hitting. It’s not easy to watch four women in garish, clashing outfits and stiletto heels carefully side-stepping and back-stepping, keeping in line for what seems ages. Mostly because

Abangabonwa (The Unseen): Go, See

Rousing drumming and the mbira’s twanging fills the hazy air. A faint yet distinct burning smell lingers. Bodies pulsate. Swift fling. Sharp grab. Resist. Rebound. Relentless undulation. A trance state washes down from the stage into the auditorium. These aren’t dancers performing rehearsed moves. They are people. Being, living. Sharing their concerns, their pride, their