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Thursday, March 22, 2018

things left unsaid

(Jabu Siphika & Sifiso Khumalo)

Maintaining Hope! (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

In celebration of their 15th anniversary Flatfoot Dance Company jubilantly take to the Sneddon Theatre stage to bring us "things left unsaid". Greeting the audience, prior to the two works, was Artistic Director Lliane Loots, who reminded us of Flatfoot's long-standing goals of achieving a better society through Dance and creating a community of resistance and hope. Loots reminded us of past, present and future dancers that the company fosters and also taking a moment to honour the dancers who have passed. Her inspirational speech lays the foundation for the pieces to follow.

The first work entitled Ndlelanhle, meaning “go well on your journey”, is choreographed by Sifiso Khumalo, a long-standing member of the company, who seems to have concretised his unique style and voice and was able to teach it to these five novice dancers. Sbonga Ndlovu, Ndumiso Dube, Siseko Dube, Qhawe Ndimande and Mthoko Mkhwanazi have all undergone rigorous training under in the Flatfoot teaching programmes and now take to the stage to eloquently display the fruits of their labour. Khumalo's choreography journeys into his own Zulu culture and chooses to speak about rituals that seem to be eroding in a modern urban setting. He aptly described his personal stories through African Contemporary Dance. All credit to these new members on the stage as they only grew and soared as the end of both pieces approached. Khumalo has managed to symbolically represent his culture through dance and like Loots suggest, remain hopeful of its continued remembrance.

The second work on display was titled things left unsaid and was choreographed by Lliane Loots and the dancers; mixing the five novice dancer stylings with the familiarity of Jabu Siphika, Sifiso Khumalo and Zinhle Nzama. Together they show the strength and passion that is Flatfoot Dance Company. I must admit that at times I was reminded, nostalgically, of early works like Orion Project. The second half is, in true Loots style, a piece that negotiates both personal and political space, makes us confront some harsh realities and in the end remind us that we are still standing! The dance piece is a tribute to Olive Mokete and sisters like her.

Wesley Maherry, a lighting designer who has danced with the Company and has been lighting them since their toddler stagings, always seems to provide the perfect lighting to accompany not just the dancing but also the tone and message of the piece. Karen Logan's video installations have become a common feature in a Flatfoot piece as she always adds some unintrusive magic to it. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the next phase that Flatfoot is stepping into.

The show runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until March 25, 2018. Performances until March 24 at 19h30 and on March 25 at 14h30. Tickets R85 (R65 students, scholars, pensioners and block booking of 10 or more) available through Computicket.

Become a part of this community of hope... - Verne Rowin Munsamy