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Tuesday, July 14, 2015


(Gabriel Masango & Helena Noll)

(Reviews from the artSMart team at the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown)

Cleverly titled fast-moving work well presented. (Review by Caroline Smart)

The festival programme notes read: “We are all spiders ... nothing is beyond our reach. We dance this web of conscious creation, weavers of dreams in this community.”

Presented by Dance Direction International & Young /star Production from Durban, Arach-No-Phobia is choreographed by Des van der Spuy assisted by Gabriel Masango. It is a cleverly-titled fast-moving - and at times, frenetic - work and features Gabriel Masango and Helena Noll supported by a disciplined company of dancers.

From a smoky dramatic opening filled with night sounds, we are taken into the world of spiders and their fascinating sinuous movements. Slinky sidesteps or scuttling frenzy, this requires much suppleness from the dancers who are effectively dressed in patterned leotards.

Masango and Helena represent male and female spiders and their interaction ranges from the stormy to the passionate. The Black Widow spider eats her mate after mating, but this male is reborn and rejoices at the birth of his offspring.

Arach-No-Phobia’s appearance on the 2015 National Arts Festival was supported by the Libraries and Heritage Department of eThekwini Municipality. – Caroline Smart

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