national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Left astonished by some of these new and exhilarating concepts reaching the stage. (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

KZN ON THE EDGE is a new JOMBA! Festival platform that allows for fresh and innovative contemporary dance work to emerge and find a space in our beautiful province. Not sure what to expect, I made my way to the Sneddon only to be left astonished by some of these new and exhilarating concepts reaching the stage.

There were three works on the line up: one man, one light, choreographed and directed by the genius mind of David Gouldie (who is always cutting edge), extravagant and spectacular lighting design by Michael Taylor-Broderick, extraordinary sound design by Liam Magner and performed by one of Durban’s favourite theatre personalities Belinda Henwood who gets to demonstrate her mime, dance and comic skills to great effect.

This edgy piece catapults us into a story that relies heavily on the closely woven relationship between the performer, lights, sound (reminiscent of Amalie) and the space. I was amazed by the entire ensemble which dazzled and moved us with a game of 0s and Xs, lasers, a moving hat and later we swam through an ocean of blue. Henwood is hilarious in her mimed efforts and is best supported by her companion, light; she is like a Charlie Chaplin at 90s rave party.

The second work was Paraphernalia of suffering, choreographed and danced by Tegan Peacock in collaboration with ReRouted Dance Company and joined by Bonwa Mbontsi in performance. This story uses ordinary shopping baskets in some extraordinary ways. Forcing us to question our consumption of life, materials and behaviour as we see two individuals balance on, slide between and encase themselves in shopping baskets. Together they learn to rid themselves of immobility by shedding what is not needed.

The last work, take me back home, was choreographed and performed by Sandile Mkhize of Phakama and accompanied by Leagan Peffer, Kristi-Leigh Gresse, Nkanyiso Kunene. This work seemed a little out of place in the night’s line-up. Only because is offered a more technically choreographed and danced work as opposed to the first two pieces which offered a more out-the-box concept. Although beautifully danced, the piece seems a little disjointed and incomplete. The two duets didn’t seem to form a cohesive whole. However it does demonstrate great technique and skill.  - Verne Rowin Munsamy