New programmes, highlights and other events at @DanceUmbrellaSA

The 2015 Dance Umbrella festival runs from February 26 to March 15. Principally funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Dance Umbrella will present two weeks and three days of contemporary dance and performance art.

Besides featuring fifteen commissioned works from both young and established choreographers, Dance Umbrella will also host new programmes: the upbeat programme Street Beat, which will feature Hip Hop dance, Pantsula and Street Dance on Sunday March 1 at the Wits Theatre from 10am onwards. The programme was curated from auditions throughout Gauteng. Working in partnership with Matthews Manamela from Oupoks Projects and Services, Dance Umbrella has created a new platform.

Other facilitators were David April and Sifiso Kweyama. Two choreographic platforms taking place at the Wits Theatre on Saturday and Sunday March 7 & 8 – the first is the Young Choreographers platform at 14:00 (on both days) which will feature works from selected young choreographers: Ons gedoentes by Byron Klaasen from Okiep, Northern Cape, The Life I’ve Lived by Sthembiso Khalishwayo from Durban, Lethlhogonolo Nche from Kimberly, Loren Seekooi from Cape Town and Thabo Kobeli and Mckintosh Jerahuni from Johannesburg. The second, the Student Choreographers platform, is from 16:00 (both days) and includes work from students at Tshwane University Pretoria, the Oakfields College in Midrand and other freelance artists. Negotiating Spaces, where seven choreographers will negotiate their way around the space assigned to them within the MOAD gallery. Audiences can walk from work to work and the choreographers include Thapelo Kotlolo and Thuso Lobeke from Sibikwa, Leigh Nudelman, Kristin Wilson, in collaboration with Rob Murray, Kieron Jina and Capetonian Chuma Sopotlela. Negotiating Spaces, at the MOAD Gallery on Sunday March 15 from 19:00 is the final programme of the Dance Umbrella 2015 festival.

Other events, master classes, workshops, interviews and discussions also taking place during the festival are: Master classes, hosted by Alfred Hinkel from March 4-7. The focus of these classes will be on dance technique at an intermediate/advanced level and will take place at the Dance Space, Newtown. Interested dancers can call Lindiwe at 011 492 2033. a discussion, presented by The A(r)tchive, Wits School of Arts: Excavating the Personal – Choreographing the Archive on Monday, March 9 at the Wits Downstairs Theatre. Selected artists will speak about their own work in relation to the core theme of archive- in- performance. Those interested in attending can email Jessica on jessicadenyschen@wits.ac.za.

Dance Umbrella 2015 extends a thank you to its many partners, without whom the festival would not have been presented: the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, (the principal funder) the Goethe Institut Johannesburg, National Arts Council and Rand Merchant Bank who both assisted with the Dance XChange and/or Dance Space Residency Programme 2014. Other partners include French Institut of South Africa, MOAD Gallery, Embassy of Israel, South Africa, the National Arts Festival, City of Johannesburg, Oupoks Projects and Services, Capital National Arts Council and The A(r)tchive.

Tickets – R60 to R100 are available from www.computicket.com
The Dance Umbrella 2015 programme is available at www.danceforumsouthafrica.co.za

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