Review: Danscape 2011

It prevailed.

As one would expect dance theatre to break the fourth wall using various theatre techniques to do so.

Danscape opened with the curtain down and all in sight was a red couch and an anxious full house in the Arena Theatre.

“Attention all teachers, please report to the staff room,” is what got me sitting up ready for the action. Then a bellow of laughter and applause as Mbovu Molinga, third year Jazzart Trainee opened the evening. The entire show was built around the notion of it being a parent teacher meeting, with audience members being addressed as friends, parents and members of the governing body. With a twist like that one could only expect an evening of entertainment.

And it was.

Young Dancers are a force to be reckoned with, (and I mean this in the most positive way).

Danscape at the Artscape in the Arena theatre, also the host of City numerous Cape Town City ballet productions was yet again a cosy venue for a dance event. Jazzart Dance Theatre in collaboration with Kwamashu School of Dance theatre, La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre & Wilvan School of Dance, Cape Academy of Performing Arts, Cafda Youth Dance Company, Sibonelo Dance Project, Relay Productions, Dance for all, iKapa Outreach Project and Vadhini Indian Arts Academy blew audience members away with a rich display of culture and expression through dance.

The show consisted of ten pieces that enveloped all the senses into an astronomical world of expression, feeling and meaning through dance. The body speaks. A true display of the talent and potential in our youth. I did not feel robbed or cheated that most of the dancers were between twelve and sixteen years old at all.

Two pieces stood out the most.

The first piece Wrong Station by Sibonelo Dance Project Choreographed by Mzokuthula Gasa was simply out of this world. A space age theme, beautiful lighting, and a simple yet elegant set and costume design is what got them a massive round of applause and bravo’s. The piece opened with a cocoon like structure placed upstage right and then it hatched. The dances emerged from this cocoon as alien like creatures. The dancers were dedicated and at all times and showed impeccable timing. May I remind you that all the dancers were between the ages of 10 and 16? The youngest of them all being ten years old. Choreographer Mzokuthula Gasa explored the space age concept beautifully with erratic movement and fragmented phrases in dance

The second piece that stood out for me was Couch by Jazzart Dance Theatre. A red couch and five dancers owning the space as if it required no effort at all. A grand jete’ by Elvis Sibeko left me gasping in awe and then a sudden burst of applause filled the Arena. This piece stood out purely because technique, dedication and passion were thrown at the audience members every second of the piece. Choreographer Ziyanda Mancam can be congratulated for her sophisticated expression of dance technique and use of space and architecture. She used the red couch well as a centre piece draped in flowing movement.

Whether you know anything about jete’s, attitiitudes and grand jete’s, you are bound to walk away with a fuzzy feeling in your heart. A beautiful expression of what the youth are capable of. A true celebration of dance. Bring the children along. They’ll love this one.

Danscape 2011 July 7-10 2011 at the Arena Theatre , Artscape


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