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Friday, July 3, 2009


National Arts Festival offers a showcase of the dynamic spectrum of dance forms.

The Fringe dance programme at the National Arts Festival (Grahamstown, July 2 – 11) is a showcase of the dynamic spectrum of dance forms – pantsula, isibhujwa, kwasakwasa, hip-hop, ballet, gumboot dancing, tap, jazz, and contemporary. In many instances, the productions explore the fusion of different dance styles and cultures, redefining the evolving language of movement with every step.

An audacious addition to the Fringe this year, is the Kids on Track / Johannesburg Dance Studio production Dance du Cirque. This exciting production moulds together the world of the circus with that of dance. Conspiring to inspire, daring to be daring – this show is infused with raw young talent, acrobatic tenacity and a mesmerising mix of contemporary, Latin, hip-hop and break-dancing moves.

The Big Time Dance Troupe celebrate their 10th year in the industry with a work that mingles contemporary dance with poetry, music and theatre in Resurrection, He Rose, He Died. The choreography is at once soulful and electrifying, the execution phenomenal.

Nkosinathi Chamo’s Wake Up Call is a fascinating fusion of African traditional dance with contemporary and classical styles. Chamo’s dexterity and athleticism, and his portrayal of supernatural strengths and weaknesses, give this production an unsurpassed energy and intensity that defy categorisation.

The National School of the Arts’ première production, Dance Spectrum, is a triptych that explores conformity and emotional entrapment through contemporary choreography and then lightens the mood with super smooth jazz sounds and equally smooth, but sensationally sassy, dance moves.

“A dance feast of pop-flamenco” is what La Rosa’s Spanish Dance Company provides in On the Edge. A luscious fusion of traditional flamenco, hip-hop and contemporary dance accompanied by a combination of live traditional flamenco and pre-recorded pop music.

It’s all Tap Rap & Rhythm Talk for the ‘TT Golden Girls’ and their younger counterparts of the Tap Talk Rhythm Company – now an institution at the Festival. If the shoes are doing the talking, the smiles are doing the walking – to Computicket to book! An all-new production comes from this fabulous tap-dance group that simultaneously awes and inspires us, and our feet, to ‘tap dat rhydm man!’

While you’re tapping and rapping why not take a brand new look at the jive – the Hip Pantsula Jive. This production, by Emonti Arts Company, is a cocktail of urban dance moves that guarantees that audiences will NOT be glued to their chairs – from pantsula to kwasakwasa to hip-hop –witness the evolution of South African urban dance trends whilst eye-boggling the dancers.

Professional and community dance companies present their interpretations of the realities of society, translated into passionate dance sequences that do more than just entertain and enthral. These include Land of Darkness by the Masibulele Dance Troupe, Kuyakhanya Ekasi (It’s bright in urban areas) by the Kusile Youth Dance Centre and A New Perspective by Count of Eight Entertainment cc.

Fringe veterans, the Cape Academy of Performing Arts and the Cape Dance Company, will once again perform diverse repertoires from local and international choreographers. The Mzansi Zulu Dancers celebrate their Zulu heritage through narration, song and dance, and the Mesivuyisene Cultural Ensemble and Pumelela Dancers reflect on the richness of their cultural heritage through dance.

Grab a Booking Kit from selected Standard Bank branches, Computicket and Exclusive Books outlets, or visit for the full line-up.