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Monday, September 5, 2016


Delightfully charming dance work. (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

International choreographer Daniel Renner from Austria, reunites with Durban based Flatfoot Dance Company to bring us their latest collaboration IDHRA/breath. No stranger to the Jomba! festival, Renner brings his strong Hip Hop influence into this delightfully charming dance work.

The video at the beginning in the evening, Momentum which was shot in Holland, introduces us to the style that Renner has explored overseas to remarkable success. His fusion of Hip Hop and contemporary dance layers the piece with multiple meanings and creative possibilities. Like the popping colour in the black and white shot video, we are drawn into the popping and locking that occurs live at the Sneddon.

IDHRA is about the breath of life, finding moments of busy, of stillness, alone and together and breathing air into all of life’s binaries. In the in-breath and out-breath we discover what it means to exist and coexist. Having only three weeks to create this work, it is a piece that is simply breathtaking. This fusion of styles meshes well to resonate the meaning that Renner has infused into the work.

With a giant pair of wings hanging in the background, the eight dancers explore our relationships with the world and ourselves and our beliefs. Hip hop dancers Bilal Bachir (Germany), Maarten Krielen (Holland) and Preston Kyd (Durban) do well to mix hip hop and contemporary to magical effect. What they lack in suspension, found in the Flatfoot dancers, they make up for in tricks and splendour. Bachir has one of those bodies that adapts to any dance form and is phenomenal in this piece.

Not to be overshadowed, I am always wowed by Preston Kyd and his enormous talent, slipping easily between hip hop and contemporary dance. I was also impressed by the young Kirsty Ndawo, who manages to fit in very well with the more established dancers of Flatfoot; Zinhle Nzama, Jabu Sipika, Tshediso Kambulu and Sifiso Khumalo. Making use of different energies, the piece crescendos into a moving bench sequence that leaves you wanting more. A great collaboration indeed, I look forward to number 4. - Verne Rowin Munsamy