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Sunday, September 28, 2008


Durban dance community honours top performers on September 28.

The Durban dance community celebrates “a fresh start” at the Durban Dance Awards at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on September 28.

Presented by KZN DanceLink, the awards salute the achievements - under difficult circumstances due to lack of funding - of dancers and choreographers in the last year.

Acknowledging the “contribution of the old guard to the development and support of the new generation”, KZN DanceLink chairman Lynn Maree said the awards honoured the hard work and dedication of the dance community.

“Dance in Durban used to include The Playhouse Dance Company, a well-paid and housed professional ballet company,” said Maree. “Then Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre was created and trained, also by The Playhouse Company. When the Playhouse Company stopped funding and housing its own companies, the city experienced a sudden flurry of a growth in dance companies and in the training of dancers for the professional stage.

“Sadly some of that energy has been lost to Durban,” Maree continues. “But some of the old guard is still here, doing great stuff. The University has a dance company, Siwela Sonke has trained a new group and there are new young dancers and choreographers beginning to find their voices.

“One could almost say there is a fresh start, but it builds on the old, and there is a strong continuity and a genuine wish from those who were involved ten years ago to support that fresh start.”

The Durban Dance Awards 2008 will be presented after the final performance of the Flatfoot Dance Company’s new season of dance work entitled Six – groundbreaking dance by six choreographers presenting six new short works – at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on Sunday September 28. Tickets from Computicket or at the door.

Nominees for the Newcomer Award are Nhlakanipho Cele, Sibusiso Gantsa, Nkanyiso Kunene, Nobuhle Khawula Sandile Mkhize, Ngcebo Nzama and Thobeka Quvane.

Nominees for the Dancer Award are Desire Davids, Louise Fraquet-Golding, Zinhle Gumede, Quinton Ribbonaar, Liselle Sproull, Sifiso Khumalo, S'fiso Magesh Ngcobo, Vusi Makanya and Mxolisi Nkomonde.

Nominees for the Choreography Award are Desire Davids (Floating Outfit Project), S'thembiso Gcabashe (freelance), Sifiso Khumalo (Flatfoot Dance Company), S'fiso Magesh Ngcobo (Flatfoot Dance Company) and Vusi Makanya (Flatfoot Dance Company).

A special Abalolongi Award for services to dance in KwaZulu-Natal will also be presented.

Certificates will also be presented to those who attended the ChoreoLab in 2007, the Professional Development Course in 2008 and all the participants in Giyani Lusha 2008.