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Monday, July 1, 2013


A treat to see Vincent Hantam performing again in Durban. (Review by Maria Schuld and Mary Ann Salvage)

A Bouquet of Dance presented in May by the Performing Arts Centre of Ethekwini (PACE) was a Showcase of Ballet produced and choreographed by Vincent Hantam and other choreographers.

The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre had the honour to host South African born, Glasgow-based Vincent Hantam as Guest Artist under the auspices of PACE, by now an established institution, to display what Durban youngsters are capable of on stage. The girls and boys of various ages and levels convinced the audience with a variety of pieces, most of them only developed and rehearsed within the week. PACE offered workshops with Vincent Hantam where he worked three hours with each level. What he managed to achieve in this time was commendable.

The audience was not only entertained by traditional ballet performances, but also hints of Tango, Contemporary, Jazz, and - as part of the PACE Outreach programme - a group of very young soldiers saluting and marching across the stage. One of the highlights was certainly the solo of Hannah Ward who recently participated in the RAD Genee International Ballet Competition in New Zealand. For those who prefer music to dance, talented singer and songwriter Shannon Hope, who just recently returned from London, entertained the audience with her deep, full voice, supported by the Principal String section of the Durban City Orchestra.

Vincent himself also found his way onto stage and gave a beautiful, intense and expressive performance, Steal away and Pray proving that it’s the small, modest and meaningful movements which create the magic of dance. It was a treat to see him performing again.

Finally, the dancers from PACE arranged by Yvonne Barker, finished off the programme with a technically sound classical ballet, Flower Festival, giving us a taste of a very positive future to look forward to.

The show left the proud parents with the feeling that in Durban dance is the passion of so many young skilled boys and girls who willingly give of their time and effort. A Bouquet of Dance can also be summarised as a convincing display of the art of dance. - Reviewed by Maria Schuld and Mary Ann Salvage.