What to see @danceumbrellaSA #DU2017 #DanceUmbrella2017

What to see @danceumbrellaSA #DU2017 #DanceUmbrella2017

Dance Umbrella 2017, a celebration of 29 years of South African contemporary Dance, proudly presented by Dance Forum, is funded by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, in partnership with the National Arts Council of South Africa, Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS), the Goethe Institut and Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council.

The programme of the 29th edition of the annual Dance Umbrella festival, taking place at the Wits Theatre Complex, Braamfontein from February 23 to March 5, 2017, is announced.

At the first Dance Umbrella only 16 choreographers presented works; at this year’s festival more than 50 new works will be presented and with our focus on predominantly young artists, Dance Umbrella 2017 is proud to present the rich, home-grown talents of these young choreographers.

Georgina Thomson | Artistic Director

The full programme, with 13 commissioned works, 13 new works and six Johannesburg premieres, includes:
Nhlanhla Mahlangu’s The Workers CHANT at the Workers Museum, Newtown Johannesburg on February 23 and 24 at 19:00 – the Workers CHANT celebrates those unsung heroes who built the city of Johannesburg with their bare hands; the black migrant workers who lived in compounds – the Workers’ Museum was a compound – and also the atrocities experienced by men, women and children during those times.

Moeketsi Koena and Gaby Saranouffi’s Corps at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on February 24 and 25 at 19:00 – Corps explores the transporting links that connect the real and the unreal through photography and dance and it creates a link between today’s world and the past through the ancestral history of South Africa, Madagascar and France. Production: Inzalo Dance and Theatre Company (South Africa), Vahinala Dance (Madagascar). Co-Production: Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes (France), I’TRÔTRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar) Support and Partnerships: Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS).

Jazzart Dance Theatre’s new work Space by the artistic director Sifiso Kweyama, at The Wits Theatre on February 24 and 25 at 20:00. This work highlights the choreographer’s connection to a space he once occupied. He longs for this unrestricted space…which allowed him to be free… to be himself.

Mamela Nyamza’s De-Apart-Hate – a potent weapon to make the oppressor understand that he/she is human and not superior over other human beings; the work is a discourse that starts with the struggles of South Africa as a nation without dwelling on race and ideology, at the Wits Amphitheatre on February 24 and 25 at 21:00. De-Apart-Hate was created in residency at the University of Maryland at The Clarice Performing Arts Centre, Washington USA.

The Fringe Programme on Sunday February 26 at 10:00 at the Wits Theatre will feature nearly 30 new works from young choreographers. The programme includes Julia Burnham (Vuyani Dance Company), Thembinkosi Puwane (Eastern Cape), Qiniso Zungu and Teresa Mojela and promises to be a discovery of new and exciting contemporary dance and performance.

The South African born choreographer Rudi van der Merwe’s installation work Trophée, on February 25 and 26 at 15:00 on the field at the National School of the Arts, is an outdoor performance with a strong affinity to visual and land art and with a reference to the submission of women (trophy wife), of nature (hunting trophy) and the other by means of war throughout history. Produced by Skree Wolf; Co-Production: Festival Antigel (Geneva); Support: Republic and State of Geneva; Touring support: Pro Helvetia Johannesburg.

On Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1 at the Wits Theatre at 19:00, a Triple bill, will feature Moving into Dance Mophatong’s Oscar Buthelezi and Sonny Boy Motau’s new works: Stuck Souls (Buthelezi) reflects on the world today as it becomes lost in waste and asks “How do we stop this?” and I am NoT… (Motau) speaks to self-discovery and venturing into new and unknown spaces within ourselves: both body and mind, and Vuyani Dance Theatre’s Lulu Mlangeni with the solo Page 27.

Also on February 28 and March 1, at the Wits Downstairs Theatre at 20:00, Songezo Mcilizeli will premiere Perspective. Perspective generates imagery framed within socio-political themes; it commits to exploring diverse culture and evolution and it investigates everyday life scenarios, constantly re-creating the imagery via the body; and at the Wits Amphitheatre at 21:00, Dawn by the Katlehong-based choreographer Lucky Kele, explores the relationship between cultures and how we observe the traditional practices in moving time and space. It was originally created at a cultural exchange in Abidjan, Ivory Coast where cultural conversation between Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and South Africa took place.

Fana Tshabalala collaborates with Constanza Macras/Dorky Park from Berlin, Germany with In The Heart of the Country at the Wits Amphitheatre on Thursday and Friday, March 2 and 3 at 19:00. A physical exploration inspired by the “impossible dialogue” between blacks and whites, in JM Coetzee’s literature and Njabulo Ndebele’s book, Rediscovery of the Ordinary. This work, created in residency in Germany and South Africa, is a co-production between Constanza Macras/Dorky Park and Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative at Ebhudwleni Arts Centre, Mpumalanga, with funding by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Goethe Institut South Africa and Dance Umbrella.

LADY, LADY by Gaby Saranouffi, Desiré Davids and Edna Jaime at the Wits Theatre, Thursday March 2 and Friday March 3 at 20:00, presents an experience into a female universe, built up by the personal journeys of three female artists from different countries within the Southern Africa region (South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar). They share, search, explore and exchange their realities in order to give voice to various commonalities, challenges and images. Production by Centre Cultural Franco- Mozambican – CCFM (Maputo); VAHINALA Dance Company (Madagascar); Co- production: I’TRÔTRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar); The Floating Outfit Project South Africa – supported by the National Arts Council; Support and partnerships: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, Institut Francais and Institute Francis Afrique du Sud.

Also on March 2 and 3, at The Nunnery at 21:00 is Down to Earth by Kieron Jina and Marc Philipp Gabriel – this dance duet deals with constructed identities that are shaped by more and more complex constellations, than by merely geographical origins and social upbringing. Down to Earth is a co-production with Tanzfabrik Berlin (Germany) and University of Johannesburg Arts and Culture (Johannesburg), supported by the International Co-Production Fund of Goethe Institute (Germany) and Dance Umbrella Festival (Johannesburg).

Detritus for One by Alan Parker, a physical theatre solo work with design by Gavin Krastin, is at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4 at 18:00. The work explores the notion of “performing the archive” and the potential ways in which performance can be used to archive past dance works for an audience in the present. Detritus for One draws together dance, spoken word, puppetry and visual image. It is funded by the National Arts Council and Dance Umbrella 2017.

Cape Town choreographer Kirvan Fortuin, who has also worked in the Netherlands, will present When they Leave, a triple bill of works at The Wits Theatre on Saturday, March 4 at 19:00 and Sunday, March 5 at 14:30. When they Leave which is technical, high-pitched and creative in unusual ways, will take the audience on an entertaining and interactive journey through the world of the performers.

Tutu by Tamara Osso at The Nunnery explores the choreographer’s white identity in relation to other identities or constructs (be they apparent or ephemeral). Starting as a ballet dancer, the artist learnt that within structure there is freedom. Collaborators: Osso, Laura Cameron, Counterspace, Rabbit Productions and Visual Frontier. The performances on Saturday, March 4 at 21:00 and Sunday March 5 at 15:30 are Sold Out and an extra performance on Sunday, March 5 at 14:00 has been added – bookings for this performance can be made by phoning 011 492 2033.

Closing the festival on Sunday, March 5 is the Young Artists Programme where six young choreographers will present new works: Thami Tshabalala (K-Mad Dance Company); Douglas Sekete (Koketso Dance Project) and Khaya Ndlovu from 10:00 at the Wits Downstairs Theatre and Phumlani Nyanga (Vuyani Dance Theatre); Seodigeng Keaoleboga; Ashleigh Joubert, Bonwa Mbontsi and Tegan Peacock (ReRouted Dance Theatre) from 11.15 at the Wits Amphitheatre.

“In addition to the jam-packed programme the festival will also host, between February 27 and March 4, a series of Master Classes at the Hillbrow Theatre Dance Studio which will be facilitated by selected choreographers and there’ll also be the popular Face to Face conversations with choreographers”, says Thomson.

Dance Umbrella 2017 is funded by the Mzansi Golden Economy Fund, Department of Arts and Culture; the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council. Other partners include the French Institut South Africa; Goethe Institut Johannesburg; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Splitbeam; Outreach Foundation; Wits Theatre and Creative Feel Magazine.

About the Dance Umbrella Festival

It had its beginnings when two journalists, Marilyn Jenkins and Adrienne Sichel, both with a passionate interest in contemporary choreography and dance, approached the Vita Awards, requesting that they initiate a contemporary dance festival in South Africa; and the Vita Dance Umbrella, under the aegis of AA Life and Vita Promotions (under the directorship of Philip Stein) was launched in Johannesburg in 1989. Dance Umbrella, an annual festival, has become the platform for new South African work – and is considered to be the place to show and see work by both artists and international programmers. It includes new commissioned work by South African companies/choreographers; invited international companies; young artists; a series of workshops and/or master classes and discussions and debates regarding the dance industry. Today the Festival, under the artistic directorship of Georgina Thomson, is widely acknowledged as the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa.

“Dance Umbrella: Jumble of recycled aesthetics mixed with dance makers: What do you get when a South African musician, a Botswana visual artist and a Zimbabwean choreographer cross paths? A uniquely Southern African collaboration that puts politicians in the region to shame!” …Star Tonight

Dance Umbrella 2017: Commissioned Works

The 29th edition of the annual Dance Umbrella festival, taking place at the Wits Theatre Complex, Braamfontein from February 23 to March 5, 2017, will feature 13 commissioned works.

Nhlanhla Mahlangu’s The Workers CHANT at the Workers Museum, Newtown Johannesburg on February 23 and 24 at 19:00 opens the festival. The Workers CHANT celebrates those unsung heroes who built the city of Johannesburg with their bare hands and reflects on the black migrant workers who lived in compounds. These were the men who left their families behind in the hope of finding a better life in Johannesburg and experienced atrocities and the de-humanisation of people. The Workers CHANT was inspired, researched and initially presented after a residency programme granted by the Dance Space/Dance Forum in 2015/16.

Moeketsi Koena and Gaby Saranouffi, in association with Denis Rion present Corps at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on February 24 and 25 at 19:00. Corps explores the ancestral history of South Africa, Madagascar and France. It is a work that will use three dimensional figures on fine fibre screens and create a relationship between the performers and audience, becoming part of the past and the future. Production: Inzalo Dance and Theatre Company (South Africa), Vahinala Dance (Madagascar). Co-Production: Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes (France), I’TRÔTRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar) Support & Partnerships: Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS).

De-Apart-Hate by Mamela Nyamza at the Wits Amphitheatre on February 24 and 25 at 21:00 is a discourse that starts with the struggles of South Africa as a nation and that tries to make people understand humanity without dwelling on race and ideology. The work reflects on religion, patriarchal oppression, sexuality and sin. This is a confrontational work that will make audiences think. It has an age restriction – not for persons under 18. De-Apart-Hate was created in Residency at the University of Maryland at The Clarice Performing Arts Centre, Washington USA.

South African born choreographer Rudi van der Merwe will present an installation work called Trophée on February 25 and 26 at 15:00. Trophée is an outdoor performance with a strong affinity to visual and land art. Three performers in sumptuous baroque dresses conquer a field like an invading army, adopting postures of trophy wives, hunted animals and ghosts from bygone wars. Their forward progress is punctuated by a series of apparitions: an advancing tree, a giant, an elephant. The elephant, as well as the tree are literary and historical references to the theme of invasion: the Wolf Co-Production: Festival Antigel (Geneva) Support: Republic and State of Geneva and Touring support: Pro Helvetia Johannesburg.

On Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1 at the Wits Theatre at 19:00 two choreographers from Moving into Dance Mophatong, Oscar Buthelezi and Sonny Boy Motau, will present new works: Stuck Souls by Oscar Buthelezi reflects on the many lost souls that are looking to be found and the many that won’t be found as they are lost in waste. They don’t know how long they will have to wait – are their souls lost or are they gone forever…and I am NoT… by Sunnyboy Motau, speaks to self-discovery and venturing into new and unknown spaces within ourselves.

Also on February 28 and March 1, at the Wits Downstairs Theatre at 20:00, Songezo Mcilizeli will premiere Perspective. Perspective generates imagery framed within socio-political themes; it commits to exploring diverse culture and evolution and it investigates everyday life scenarios, constantly re-creating the imagery via the body.

The third programme on the same evenings is Dawn by Katlehong-based choreographer Lucky Kele at the Wits Amphitheatre at 21:00. Dawn explores the relationship between cultures and how we observe the traditional practices in moving time and space. It reflects a human-centred approach to development based on mutual respect and dialogue among cultures.

Fana Tshabalala collaborates with Constanza Macras/Dorky Park from Berlin, Germany with In The Heart of the Country at the Wits Amphitheatre on Thursday and Friday, March 2 and 3 at 19:00. A physical exploration inspired by the “impossible dialogue” between blacks and whites, in JM Coetzee’s literature and Njabulo Ndebele’s book, Rediscovery of the Ordinary. In The Heart of the Country is part of a bigger project called Space Tales : Super Local Stories and is a co-production between Constanza Macras/Dorky Park and Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative at Ebhudwleni Arts Centre, Mpumalanga South Africa. It is funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Goethe Institut South Africa and Dance Umbrella.

Lady, Lady by Gaby Saranouffi, Desiré Davids and Edna Jaime at the Wits Theatre, Thursday March 2 and Friday March 3 at 20:00, presents an experience into a female universe, built up by the personal journeys of three female artists from different countries within the Southern Africa region (South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar). They share, search, explore and exchange their realities in order to give voice to various commonalities, challenges and images. Production by Centre Cultural Franco- Mozambican – CCFM (Maputo); VAHINALA Dance Company (Madagascar); Co- production: I’TRÔTRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar); The Floating Outfit Project South Africa – supported by the National Arts Council; Support and partnerships: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, Institut Francais and Institute Francis Afrique du Sud.

Also on March 2 and 3, at The Nunnery at 21:00 is Down to Earth by Kieron Jina and Marc Philipp Gabriel. This dance duet deals with constructed identities that are shaped by more and more complex constellations, than by merely geographical origins and social upbringing. Using the body as a projection canvas, the work works with dance, music and cultural artefacts. Down to Earth is a co-production with Tanzfabrik Berlin (Germany) and University of Johannesburg Arts and Culture (Johannesburg), supported by the International Co-Production Fund of Goethe Institute (Germany) and Dance Umbrella Festival (Johannesburg).

Detritus for One by Alan Parker, a physical theatre solo work with design by Gavin Krastin, is at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4 at 18:00. The work explores the notion of “performing the archive” and the potential ways in which performance can be used to archive past dance works for an audience in the present. Detritus for One draws together dance, spoken word, puppetry and visual image. It is funded by the National Arts Council and Dance Umbrella 2017.

Cape Town choreographer Kirvan Fortuin, who has also worked in the Netherlands, will present When they Leave, a triple bill, at The Wits Theatre on Saturday, March 4 at 19:00 and Sunday, March 5 at 14:30. When they Leave, which is technical, high-pitched and creative in unusual ways, also explores the narrative of race in the South African context, specifically between white and coloured people and through a series of duets, the audience will be taken on an entertaining and interactive journey through the world of the performers into a space of thought.

Running from February 23 to March 5, 2017 at the Wits Theatre Complex, the ten-day festival programme includes new and invited contemporary dance works, works from established and young local and international choreographers, a Young Artists Programme and a Fringe Programme and also on offer are the popular Face-to-Face interviews and stimulating Master Classes for dancers.

A series of these stimulating Master Classes will take place at the Hillbrow Theatre Dance Studio as follows:
On Saturday, February 25:

At 10:00: Sifiso Kweyama (Artistic Director of Jazzart Dance Theatre, Cape Town): How to work with your space and your body weight – the process will explore dance and movement in relation to where the participant chooses to work.

At 12:00: Mamela Nyamza – When I work… I am…: Nyamza is inevitably drawn to the politics of the BODY, and radically deconstructs the normative expectations of who qualifies to be a dancer. Her Master Class will find dynamic ways of communicating with your body by simply using physical techniques, the mind, the soul, the past and the presence. Nyamza will convey topical themes of experiences rather than mere entertainment when the body becomes the vocal cord in a metaphorical way.

On Tuesday, February 28 at 10:00 Moeketsi Koena assisted by Gaby Saranouffi, will explore the fusion of South African popular dance culture, by experimenting with variables of dance and music in the genres of pantsula and gumboots rhythms, with western contemporary dance forms within the vortex of pulsating African dance, bringing his craft to the cutting edge of dance and theatre.

On Friday, March 3 at 10:00 Desiré Davids – her master class is open to semi professionals/ professionals and will consist of a short warm-up and will continue with various movement research techniques that assist with improvisation and movement creation

The final Master Class on Saturday, March 4 at 10:00 will have Alan Parker ‘Exploring Chance as a choreographic tool’. Participants will playfully explore ‘chance’ as a choreographic tool to create, craft and stage dance performance. Using play, improvisation and task, dancers will be guided through an experience of trusting their mistakes and allowing choreography to happen through coincidence.

The Master Classes are open to all experienced dancers and there is no fee. For further information and/or to book your place, please call Lethabo at 011 492 2033.

Dance Umbrella 2017: The Fringe and Young Artists

The Dance Umbrella 2017 festival is the 29th edition and will present a total of 17 programmes from February 23 to March 5, 2017 at the Wits Theatre Complex.

On Sunday, February 26 from 10:00, the Wits Theatre will rock with the Fringe programme which will feature 28 new works from young choreographers from all corners of South Africa and includes: Julia Burnham from Vuyani Dance Theatre who has created a work called Something Black and Yellow; Us -The People by Thembinkosi Puwane from the Border Youth Dance Theatre in East London and Park Station by Baleni Ernest from the Free State.

Other artists featured on the Fringe are Nomasonto Radebe from the Luthando Arts Academy with Cracks and Beauty; Busiswe Radebe with a work called (R)evolution of Women; Qiniso Zungu has created a work called A conversation with our Bodies and Souls; Rachelle Brunette with A Human = A Dance; Beautiful Ones by Kristi-Leigh Gresse and Motebejane Tsunke has created a work called Ash and Water and painted by Nzimeni Herembi. The Fringe programme tickets are R20.00.

Then there are three programmes, presented as a Triple Bill, that will feature the works of selected choreographers – three young artists who have been making their mark on the contemporary dance scene: on Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1 at 19:00 at the Wits Theatre, Oscar Buthelezi will premiere his new work created on the Moving into Dance Mophatong Company called Stuck Souls. He shares the stage with Sunnyboy Motau, also from Moving into Dance and Lulu Mlangeni, Vuyani Dance Theatre’s dancer/choreographer. All three have made their indelible mark on the contemporary dance domain and this Triple Bill will no doubt be a significant premiere of their new works. Tickets for this programme are R120.00.

On Sunday March 5 from 10:00 at the Wits Downstairs theatre, two Young Artists programmes featuring six choreographers will be presented: Thami Tshabalala will present a work called Vibrations of Us which focuses on the African homosexual man. Also featured on this programme is Unfolding Times by Douglas Sekete from the Koketso Dance Company and the third artist on the programme is Khaya Ndlovu with Silent Prints.

The second Young Artists programme at the Wits Amphitheatre from 11:15 features Vuyani Dance Company’s Phumlani Nyanga with a work called Beyond; Seodigeng Kealoeboga will premiere Black; the Kwa-Zulu Natal based Ashleigh Joubert, Bonwa Mbontsi and Tegan Peacock ‘s work called Paraphernalia of Suffering, is the final work on the programme. The Young Artists platform tickets are R80.00.

Dance Umbrella 2017 is funded by the Mzansi Golden Economy fund, Department of Arts and Culture; the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council. Other partners include the French Institut South Africa; Goethe Institut Johannesburg; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Splitbeam; Outreach Foundation; Wits Theatre and Creative Feel Magazine.

 

About the Dance Umbrella festival
It had its beginnings when two journalists, Marilyn Jenkins and Adrienne Sichel, both with a passionate interest in contemporary choreography and dance, approached the chief business/arts partnership of that time, the Vita Awards, requesting that they initiate a contemporary dance festival in South Africa; and the Vita Dance Umbrella, under the aegis of AA Life and Vita Promotions (under the directorship of Philip Stein) was launched in Johannesburg in 1989. The first festival received a R3 000 sponsorship from AA Life, which continued to fund anonymously, the Dance Umbrella until 1992. Dance Umbrella, an annual festival, has become the platform for new South African work. It is the main programme which both artists and international programmers consider the place to show and see work and includes: new commissioned work by South African companies/choreographers, invited international companies, young artists, a series of workshops and/or master classes and discussions and debates regarding the dance industry.

Today the Dance Umbrella festival, under the artistic directorship of Georgina Thomson, is widely acknowledged as the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa.

“Dynamic Dance Showcase: The FNB Dance Umbrella – a showcase of southern African and International dance and choreography – is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most important festivals, offering an opportunity to explore and develop all emergent dance forms” …Style

“Dance Umbrella: Jumble of recycled aesthetics mixed with dance makers: What do you get when a South African musician, a Botswana visual artist and a Zimbabwean choreographer cross paths? A uniquely Southern African collaboration that puts politicians in the region to shame!” …Star Tonight

Dance Forum
Dance Forum has been and continues to be, the main driver of contemporary dance and choreography projects and events in Southern Africa; this includes the annual Dance Umbrella and New Dance festivals, contemporary choreography residency programmes, workshops and other related projects. It has proudly, for the past 15 years, been the major motivating force behind the Dance Umbrella festival.

Tickets for Dance Umbrella 2017 range from R20.00 to R120.00, book at Computicket 083 915 8000 or www.computicket.com or call 011 492 2033 to reserve tickets.
For block booking discounts and programme updates, please call 011 492 2033 or email info@danceforum.co.za

For the Dance Umbrella 2017 programme, updates on the Master Classes and Face to Face interviews please visit www.danceforumsouthafrica.co.za.

 

 

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