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Friday, March 25, 2016


(Dean Bennewith flying in the air performing Gary Gordon’s “Travellers” with the Playhouse Dance Company in 1993)

Dancer, teacher, choreographer, events producer Dean Bennewith passed away in Durban on March 22 after a battle with cancer.

Born April 9, 1970, Bennewith trained first at Technikon Natal gaining a National Diploma in Theatre Technology then furthered his studies at UCT Ballet School before joining NAPAC Dance Company in 1993, re-named the Playhouse Dance Company (PDC). During this time he toured with the company to Switzerland and Hungary.

He left PDC in 1997 to work in Turkey for the former Durban-based choreographer Denise Britz. A contract at the Wild Coast Sun then followed, and then a contract in India as a dancer for the movie Jeans.

Returning to South Africa, he formed a contemporary dance company, Dare 2 Dance, under the auspices of Technikon Natal which toured schools with educational programmes.

In 1998, Bennewith joined the newly-formed Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company as a founder member performing with the company in South Africa and on its tours to Taiwan and India.

Then followed a contract with Carnival Cruise Lines, based in Galveston, Texas. Thereafter, Dean returned to South Africa to establish Eeny Meeny Miny Mo Entertainment (EMMMENTERTAINMENT), an events company, with his former wife Janine. The company grew quickly and was involved with numerous international conferences, world events, and launches including the Moses Mabhida Arch Completion launch, 2010 Fifa World Soccer, World Surgery Conference.

Bennewith was noted for his attention to detail, and he was completely hands on. His famous saying in a presentation was, "If I say superman will fall from the sky, superman will fall from the sky".

Janine Bennewith comments, “In my opinion he was the most creative mind I know and was very restricted in this industry, but he tailor-made every package for his individual client. He has had quite the ride in this industry: as a dancer he basically toured the world; he choreographed pieces that touched your soul; his direction was so precise, down to your last toe; but what made Dean special was his passion for dance and people. His favourite saying was, Be Big, Be Bold, Be Beautiful!’”

His funeral will take place on March 31, 2016, at 11h00 at the chapel of Durban Christian Centre.