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Thursday, October 8, 2009


Two of SA’s most cerebral and challenging choreographers unite for potent look at our history and heritage. (Review by Lynne Goodman.)

Two of South Africa’s most cerebral and challenging choreographers have come together for a potent look at our history and heritage.

Recently seen at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the latest presentation by UKZN’s Flatfoot Dance Company highlighted the award-winning talents of its artistic director Lliane Loots and the nationally celebrated freelancer David Gouldie. They each presented their own persuasive, if substantially different, versions of the theme in Bloodlines Part One and Bloodlines Part Two.

Gouldie’s pre-interval slot was performed against a strikingly minimalist backdrop featuring two white ramps as he juggled with ‘shifting angles and altered perceptions’. The six white-clad dancers interacted evocatively in this space, with voice-overs from the English and Afrikaans architects of our colonial past. Gouldie’s creativity has a special strength in that it is always adapted to his cast and it never fails to captivate.

Loots opened her strongly thought-out work with a stunning evocation of three males jogging against a video of the African veld - lovingly filmed by Karen Logan. It included an effective interlude with suitcases and the symbolism of baggage, and a dramatic climax by slam poet Iain (Ewok) Robinson about history’s crimes. He upstaged the dancing with his riveting repetitions.

Of the six dancers, the three men - Vusi Makanya, Sifiso Kitsona Khumalo and S’fiso Magesh Ngcobo - were specially strong and impressive, as our male performers always seem to be. What an amazing contribution they keep making in performance and choreography to our artistic landscape.

To back this up, the seasoned Musa Hlatshwayo took top honours in the 2009 awards of the KZN Dance Link. The prizegiving ceremony was held after the final Sunday matinee of Bloodlines. This time the annual event was stringently cut down due to a serious lack of funding. The pause button is certainly on. Yet what dance remains in Durban, still manages to be alive and arousing. – Lynne Goodman