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Saturday, February 11, 2017


The 29th edition of the annual Dance Umbrella festival is taking place at the Wits Theatre Complex, Braamfontein from February 23 to March 5, 2017.

The full programme includes 13 commissioned works, 13 new works and six Johannesburg South African premieres. Artists from Kwa-Zulu Natal have been included in the programme as follows:

Lady, Lady by Gaby Saranouffi, DesirĂ© Davids from Durban and Edna Jaime at the Wits Theatre, March 2 and 3 at 20h00, presents an experience into a female universe, built up by the personal journeys of three female artists from different countries within the Southern Africa region (South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar). They share, search, explore and exchange their realities in order to give voice to various commonalities, challenges and images. Production by Centre Cultural Franco- Mozambican - CCFM (Maputo); VAHINALA Dance Company (Madagascar); Co- production: I'TRĂ”TRA International Dance Festival (Madagascar); The Floating Outfit Project South Africa – supported by the National Arts Council; Support and partnerships: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, Institut Francais and Institute Francis Afrique du Sud.

Closing the festival on March 5 is the Young Artists Programme where six young choreographers will present new works: from 10h00 at the Wits Downstairs Theatre - Thami Tshabalala (K-Mad Dance Company); Douglas Sekete (Koketso Dance Project); Khaya Ndlovu and from 11h15 at the Wits Amphitheatre - Phumlani Nyanga (Vuyani Dance Company; Seodigeng Keaoleboga; Ashleigh Joubert, Bonwa Mbontsi and Tegan Peacock (ReRouted Dance Theatre) from Pietermaritzburg.

The Dance Umbrella festival had its beginnings when two journalists, Marilyn Jenkins and Adrienne Sichel, both with a passionate interest in contemporary choreography and dance, approached the Vita Awards, requesting that they initiate a contemporary dance festival in South Africa; and the Vita Dance Umbrella, under the aegis of AA Life and Vita Promotions (under the directorship of Philip Stein) was launched in Johannesburg in 1989. Dance Umbrella, an annual festival, has become the platform for new South African work – and is considered to be the place to show and see work by both artists and international programmers. It includes new commissioned work by South African companies/choreographers; invited international companies; young artists; a series of workshops and/or master classes and discussions and debates regarding the dance industry. Today the Festival, under the artistic directorship of Georgina Thomson, is widely acknowledged as the premier contemporary dance festival in Africa.

Dance Umbrella 2017 is funded by the Mzansi Golden Economy fund, Department of Arts and Culture; the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council. Other partners include the French Institut South Africa; Goethe Institut Johannesburg; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Splitbeam; Outreach Foundation; Wits Theatre and Creative Feel Magazine.

Tickets for Dance Umbrella 2017 range from R20 to R120, book at Computicket 083 915 8000 or or call 011 492 2033 to reserve tickets.

For block booking discounts and programme updates, call 011 492 2033 or email

To book a place for the Master Classes call Lethabo at 011 492 2033.

For the Dance Umbrella 2017 programme and updates on the Master Classes visit Follow Dance Umbrella on: Twitter: @danceumbrellaSA / Facebook: Dance Umbrella Festival Johannesburg / Instagram: Dance_Umbrella_SA