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Sunday, September 22, 2013


21st annual celebration a sell-out hit! (Review by Keith Millar)

Shall We Dance? The answer was an resounding YES!
And, boy - did they dance and entertain! Nearly 100 performers in a glittering, glamorous and glorious dance extravaganza.

The South African Dance Teacher Association in collaboration with The Playhouse Company presented their 21st annual celebration of the wonderful art of dance at the Playhouse Opera. While rooted in Ballroom and Latin American, the line-up also included Ballet, Belly Dance, Hip-Hop, Line Dance, Modern, Spanish and Tap. In fact everything to satisfy the soul of the most discerning dance lover.

The guest stars on display were South African professional ballroom champions, Penwill Nhlapo and Yulia Kharlova – Latin American professionals Ryan Hammond and Lindsey Muckle – international stars Darren Hammond and Milla Lykke and the Durban high energy show troupe, Statik. All these stars displayed extraordinary ability. They danced with skill and beauty and their routines were filled with breath-taking moments.

Without exception, the dancers from the various academies and studios involved in the show danced their hearts out. Helped by brilliant and sympathetic choreography, they provided amazing and captivating sequences. They wowed the audience and had them shouting for more.

Highlight for me was the beautiful and haunting fusion of waltz and ballet performed to Chopin’s Minute Waltz. This little bit of magic was provided by Strictly Ballroom and Young Dancers Project. Also classy was the faceoff between belly dancers from Rags Arabia and line dancers from Ritz & Rhythm. Performed to Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. it provided humour and panache

The biggest round of applause on the night was saved for wheelchair dancer Michelle Rosewell. She performed with grace and charisma and showed that anything is possible for those who are determined. Her smile lit up the stage.

The costumes were wonderful, adding colour and character to each dance. Everything from top hat and tails to flamenco costumes and sexy belly dance outfits were on display. The backdrops were all sumptuous drapes and dazzling tinsel streamers while the lighting technicians used every trick in the book to add to the sparkling multi-coloured kaleidoscope on stage.

Durban dance lovers are very much aware of this fantastic annual show because the Playhouse Opera was full for every show since the run started. So, if you missed out, diarise it for next year! – Keith Millar