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Sunday, July 10, 2016

NAF: ... feathers ...

(Reviews from the artSMart team currently in Grahamstown at the 2016 National Arts Festival)

A joyous celebration of dance! (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

... feathers..., Moving Into Dance Mophatong’s addition to the 11 days of amazing, was just that - amazing!

Director Mark Hawkins, the previous Artistic Director of now closed Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, boasts to me before the show that they had just received a Standard Bank Ovation Award. Crowds flocked to Centenary Hall, to bear witness to this spectacular dance experience. We watched in awe as these well-lit, toned bodies rippled through space, soared through the air and caught one another with gentle trust.

There were three dance works, directed by Hawkins, choreographed by Sunnyboy Motau (My Black is Black), Sunnyboy Motau Rachel Erdos (fight, flight, feathers, f☆☆☆ers), Oscar Buthelezi (Roads)and Eugene Mashiane. The works feature Sunnyboy Motau, Oscar Buthelezi, Muzi Shili, Eugene Mashiane and Teboho Letele, who demonstrate brilliant strength, emotion and masculine bravado. Each choreographer utilises the dancers’ strengths in diverse ways to show off technique, agility, passion and overall breath taking dance.

The first piece, my favourite, showed a delicate relationship between two males, learning from and helping each other find their ‘wings’, while the second piece, a solo, cleverly used a jacket to depict the struggles of one man within himself, trying to face the world and the third piece had us engrossed as all four dancers take the stage in a piece about manipulation and conformity.

The contact improvisation sequences are very reminiscent of the works that Flying Fish once made and the piece ends with feathers being released onto the dancers as they balance on each other. A joyous celebration of dance! - Verne Rowin Munsamy

There is one more performance of "... feathers ..." today (July 10) at 10h00 in the Centenary Hall.

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