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Tuesday, July 14, 2015


(Leagan Peffer)

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

Very fine dance work deals with much aggression. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Described as a journey delving deep into the mind of self-discovery, the contemporary dance work. ... If The World Was Listening was presented on this year’s festival by The KZN Dance Productions NPC supported by The Playhouse Company.

It poses the question that - if the world would pause and turn a willing ear to one’s mouth - what is it that you would say?

The work is directed by Leagan Peffer and choreographed by Sandile Mkhize in collaboration with the dancers. This is a highly-disciplined and skilled group who handled this thought-provoking work with passion and energy. The dancers include Nkanyiso Kunene, Kristi-Leigh Greeser; Julia Hosmer; Monde Marafane; Leagan Peffer; Lorin Sookool and Sandile Mkhize.

The name of the costume designer is not apparent in the publicity material but they were very effective and I was particularly impressed with a skirt of newspaper pages. Like petals, they flowed yet hindered her.

Blankets play an important role. The production opens with a lone and unemotional woman seated and wrapped in blankets. The atmosphere is unsettled as the sound of strong wind fills the theatre. There are five people lying on the floor on their backs like dead spiders.

As the work continues, it presents disturbing moods and deals with much aggression and angry or dominating relationships.

Eventually, there is unity and everyone is wrapped blankets except for our first female who shakes her blanket off and takes a loud, strong and independent breath. You can interpret this conclusion any way you like – whatever you choose, you will have seen a very fine dance work.

... If The World Was Listening is the winner of a 2015 Standard Bank Ovation Award. – Caroline Smart

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