Dance Archive

Black Privilege: A gilded cage?

Who doesn’t want to be famous? Not Kardashian famous. Yuck. But famed, or infamous even, a game-changer, a reference point, noted in the history books… a known name. Aspirations. Dreams. And why not? Why not want recognition, validation, a little assurance that one’s being here on earth is worthwhile? Enter the Entertainment Industry. You gotta

Tangible Energy: Elusive and Aloof

Energy. That which creates us. Makes us. Connects us. Energy is chemistry. Energy is power. So much potential… But perhaps the switch didn’t entirely flick on for me, in Tangible Energy? I’m always open to the possibility that the point flashed past me, and I’ll happily receive another audience member’s enlightened insight. But if the

Down to the Marrow: Introspection on identity

Down to the Marrow is a work in two parts. The first is “Ukubona Ngokwami”, a duet choreographed and performed by Jabu Siphika and Zinhle Nzama, and the second, “Ndlelanhle” is a quintet performed by the newest generation of Flatfoot Dance Company’s professional dancers, choreographed by Sifiso Khumalo. Together these works take an intimate inward

Phuma-Langa: Stark and Dark

In a black box theatre with bared walls and simple lighting, six eerie figures stand, dressed in ridiculous outfits – swimming caps, orange water wings, kreepy krauly pipes wound round their waists, and knee-length stripy socks in white tennis shoes. In trying to interpret this weird attire, I look to choreographer Mamela Nyamza’s body of

Jungfrau: A glittering bait ball

Ameera Patel is in my face, getting undressed. She is utterly mesmerising. This is our introduction to Jessica, Jess, and as per the play note, “Jez”. And what a Jezebel she is! Morphing from the virgin into the whore repeatedly, and imbuing Jungfrau with its discourse on coloured identity with her own skin. It is

Amaqhawe: All the bells and whistles; little form

Unlike the rest of the whooping audience, I was unmoved by Amaqhawe. People who have read my writing can gather I’m a ‘give-an-artist-the-benefit-of the-doubt’ kind of reviewer/critic (whatever you like to call us people). But, disappointingly, the negatives outweigh the positives in Amaqhawe and there’s no way to spin it otherwise. The content is important,

Hatched: A Rich Tapestry

A bare back under a spotlight, distanced from us, exposed but strong. Another back to us, this body stands busy at an easel, casually bopping to a beat and softly rapping to himself. Two presences – we know they are linked, they share this space (now shared with us). But there’s tension: in the clashing

…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