Dance Archive

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

Kubili (2): gripping and fresh

I was gripped for the first hour, and then they ran overtime which is a festival no-no. Kubili (2) is double billed, but is more of a one-quarter and three-quarter bill. Women got the one quarter, men the other three. Notable, given that the theme is female identity and abuse of women. Durban choreographer Musa

Ghostdance for One: Past is present

We never dance alone. Dance being movement, few of our gestures are truly our own. Our expressions, ways of standing, of walking, moving, are all inherited or borrowed from those we love. We are complex mirrors reflecting our relationships. This isn’t the old ‘nothing is new’ trope, but merely the observation that we assimilate what

4: Mixed Bag, Mixed Feelings

Using Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” as a point of departure, four choreographers have each created a ‘season’ with the dance students of Oakfields College. Ok, the truth is I liked much of 4 but with some elements, I wasn’t sold. The choreography is excellent – it should be with Sunnyboy Motau, Bailey Snyman, Gladys Agulhas, and

Sabela: What’s in a name?

Who are you? The automatic, instinctual reply is your name. How much of ‘us’ is within our name? How much history saturates your name, your surname? It identifies where you come from, which cultural heritage you ‘belong’ to. Radebe, Nyanga, Kobeli, McFarlane, Makhene… what do you see when reading these names? What about Ndlovu, Jantjies, Moonsamy,

Macho Macho: Pure male

Two dancers, Macho Macho, tumbling, lifting, holding falling competing supporting slapping fucking posing flexing preening. Again. And again. And again. Tumbling rolling lifting holding falling competing supporting dragging fucking tumbling rolling lifting falling competing supporting dragging fucking holding. Slap! Well done. Work harder. Sweating Breathing Gasping Shaking Winning Losing Holding The holder becoming held. As