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Friday, August 28, 2015


(The Playhouse Dance Residency feature in this award-winning piece. Pic by Val Adamson)

As a troupe they were a cohesive entity and complemented each other perfectly in this impressive production. (Review by Keith Millar)

The dance component of this year’s South African Woman’s Art Festival at the Playhouse in Durban was provided by the Playhouse Dance Residency. They presented a one-off performance of If the World Was Listening ..., the production which won them a coveted Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown earlier this year.

This contemporary dance production is choreographed by Sandile Mkhize in collaboration with the cast and is based on their own stories which they shared during the creative process. The result is a deeply personal, moody work which is danced with emotion, intensity and total immersion by the cast.

There are shades of violence, adversity, domination aggression, confrontation, discovery and seduction woven throughout this very physical piece. It is a powerful, tantalising and thought-provoking work .It invites you to ponder that if the world was listening – what would you say?

If The World Was Listening ... features the substantial dance talents of Sandile Mkhize, Nkanyiso Kunene, Leagan Peffer, Julia Hosmer, Lorin Sookool and Monde Morafana.

The standard of their performance was of an enjoyably high level. They were beautifully graceful and agile and performed with energy, style and enthusiasm. As a troupe they were a cohesive entity and complemented each other perfectly.

Costume design was by Julia Hosmer. Her creation of a tutu made from newspapers in the opening episode of the production was particularly thought-provoking. I am sure there were many interpretations in the audience as to the symbolism of this.

The soundtrack for this production is outstanding. It offers an impressive and eccentric choice of music and sounds which is an integral part of the dance. Unfortunately, the programme offers no mention of who is responsible for this masterpiece.

The meaning, or symbolism, of every episode in this dance work is not entirely clear. Possibly that is not a bad thing as each person can then formulate their own ideas and come to their own understanding of what is an impressive production. – Keith Millar