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Saturday, March 16, 2013


(Julia Wilson & Tshediso Kabulu)

World premiere of two new dance theatre works celebrates Flatfoot’s 10th anniversary year. (Review by Mary-Ann Salvage)

Flatfoot Dance Company celebrates its 10th anniversary year with a special season of dance theatre at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Titled Last Thoughts, it offers the world premiere of two new dance theatre works made for the six resident Flatfoot dancers: Sifiso Khumalo, Tshediso Kabulu, Sifiso Majola, Jabu Siphika, Julia Wilson and Thobi Maphanga.

The two works are Ngichaze/Define Me, a poetic and lyrical work created by guest choreographer Sifiso Kweyama, and Last Thoughts, Loots’s newest dance theatre collaboration with spoken word poet Ian ewok Robinson.

During Lliane Loots’s opening speech, she acknowledged the many people who have journeyed with her on her path to lead Flatfoot to where it is today. She also mentioned about being on the “edge of a collective grave” with funding challenges and paid tribute to current funding partners NCP Alcohols, Seafrog Communication and Sibaya. “We are not short of artists in this country, we are short of places to work”. She saluted the many dancers for sweating blood for their art.

The first work on the programme Ngichaze/Define Me created by guest choreographer Sifiso Kweyama was a well-choreographed piece which challenged the dancers. He used varied pieces of music and I particularly enjoyed watching the commitment and intensity displayed by the dancers. Interesting use of lighting allowed larger than life shadows on the black traverse which almost dwarfed the dancers without distracting from their dancing.

Lliane Loot’s piece, Last Thoughts, was for me a collage of memorable pieces that have been choreographed over the years with - and for - the dancers. Almost a trip down memory lane exploring personal, political and social issues. The video footage in the beginning of the piece initially gave me a sense of hope, speaking of love, but this was soon overshadowed by the repetitive and constant questioning of Robinson’s poetry. I felt it often stopped the flow of movement instead of enhancing it.

Puzzling too was the graffiti on the cyc, starting in black and white and progressing to colour. More upbeat was the introduction of two break-dancers, Preston ‘Kayzo’ Kid and Byrone ‘Bizzo’ Tifflin who generated an exhilarating energy to the work and received much accolade from the audience. Loots managed to successfully combine a variety of layered creative dance theatre.

 In the end you have nothing but your thoughts... I think you could also say there was a compelling spirituality about the end of Last Thoughts.

Flatfoot’s 10th anniversary season, Last Thoughts has its final two performances tonight (March 16) at The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at 19h30 and tomorrow (March 17) at 15h00. Tickets R80 (R60 pensioners/students) booked through Computicket. The show’s duration is 1hr 50mins including an interval.

The opening night’s gala fundraiser supported the dance education and development work being done by Flatfoot in Umlazi, KwaMashu, Newlands East, and Tugela Mouth. – Mary-Ann Salvage