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Thursday, October 24, 2013


Scooping the only dance invitation in South Africa, Flatfoot Dance Company travelled to neighbouring Zimbabwe to perform at the Intwasa Arts Festival in Bulawayo in late September. They shared the performance platform with the internationally renowned Zimbabwean dance company Tumbuka Dance Company.

Tumbuka and Flatfoot have a long shared history which saw them first meet at the inaugural JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival in 1998. As artistic director of Flatfoot, Lliane Loots said before they left: “travelling to the Intwasa Arts Festival is a dream come true for us. We are always seeking to connect with dancers and artists in our African continent, and over and above this – for this trip - we are sharing the stage with Tumbuka; it is a true privilege”.

Flatfoot’s invitation came to Loots for her to bring Last Thoughts, the 10th anniversary work that she made with Flatfoot in March 2013. A brooding dance theatre work, Last Thoughts is a collaboration with spoken word poet Ian ewok Robinson and is a type of zeitgeist moment of memory, history and future for both Flatfoot but also for all those involved in the work. Alongside the six resident Flatfoot dancers, this collaboration also features two of Durban (and South Africa’s) best breakdancers, Preston “Kayzo” Kyd and Byrone “Bizzo” Tifflin.

Seamlessly fusing the BBoyz style of breaking with the lyrical flow and energy of Flatfoot’s inimitable style, Loots’s Last Thoughts is a type of hip-hop opera that takes time to honour the legacy of ambient influences like Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and most importantly a long-time working relationship with ewok.

Referencing Ginsburg’s 1954 poem Song and his call to “return to the body where I was born”, Loots’s Last Thoughts is, finally, her own unfailing belief in the dancing body as the only political truth that we can ever know. As she says, Last Thoughts is a rather dark title but it echoes all sorts of recollections around personal and political rites and re-membering; and for me this is the missing governance and silent voice of our age”.

Flatfoot spent a week at the Intwasa Arts festival in Bulawayo, performing and teaching dance workshops in a much anticipated meeting of skills, styles and African connections.

Flatfoot Dance Company acknowledges the very generous support of the Swiss Arts Council, PRO HELVETIA, who funded their transport to and from Zimbabwe.