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Saturday, April 27, 2019


(Students of Durban Dance Alliance. Photo by Joanna Tang)

Reimagine Dance! Building on the development of its annual Eastern Evening (TEE) brand - which has previously been enjoyed by enthusiastic audiences in a variety of performance spaces in and around Durban - Iqraam Rahim’s innovative Rampage Dance Company bravely continues to break fresh ground with its latest collaborative venture - The Durban Dance Alliance.

“Durban Dance Alliance is the coming together of Eastern, Western and African dance perspectives that caters to the evolving and diverse tastes of a proudly South African audience,” explains Rahim. “The dance ecosystem created through TEE is being carefully nurtured with creativity. This allows us to collaborate with other independent dance institutes - in this instance - Gail Smith School of Dance & Kwa Mashu Dance Theatre - in order to allow a crossover of creative perspective. By speaking for our progress and against the misconceptions stifling the further development of our industry, we not only promote freedom of thought, but also the free dispersion of innovative ideas which results in a more multicultural society.”

Rahim says Rampage Dance Company has adopted “Ikigai” - a Japanese word whose meaning translates roughly to a ‘reason for being’, encompassing ‘joy’, a ‘sense of purpose and meaning’, and a ‘feeling of well-being’ -  as its dance philosophy. This has resulted in teaching methodology befitting the aspirations of current dance scholars.

With choreographer-director Rahim at its helm, the Durban Dance Alliance was a 60 minute performance on April 27, 2019, framed by the architectural artistry of Park Square retail destination, Umhlanga.

It rested in the hands of a very strong technical and aesthetic team which was carefully assembled to enhance the impact and experience of the event. The team comprised set designer Jayshree Haree, who was tasked with blurring the lines between venue and theatre space; FX make-up artist Priar Moodley, who uses make-up to enhance natural features of performers (not change their look) resulting in a more valued self-esteem; Perushan Naidoo, sound and lighting specialist, tasked with rigging the venue with surround sound (this was the first of its kind for a local performance); photographer Joanna Tang, who captured the audience’s natural reactions through the performance; and Shanil Parboo, an event specialist who lends his expertise in operations linking everyone together.

“Amara Nathoo, student at Reddam College and a junior principal dancer, is supported by local celebrity Rizelle Januk (featured in the new local movie, Kings of Mulberry Street) with her rendition of Deh Shiva - a mantra of righteousness paying tribute to those who lost their lives in Christchurch - New Zealand,” says Rahim. “In the true spirit of feminism, Shivani Singh (a Kathak Graduate and dance practitioner) and a strong female cast support our developing male performers in what was always a female dominated field. Gaurav Sukhnandan (Grade 9 - Seatides Combined School) makes his choreographic debut with Colonial Cousins - a piece dedicated to our Palestinian brothers and sisters suffering through apartheid.”

“On a practical level, given the critical shortage of affordable theatre facilities currently available in the city, Durban Dance Alliance is a solution to the displacement of artists from theatre spaces (due to rising costs and exorbitant fees) and has proven that dance language transcends religion, colour and creed. It is with this art form that we challenge the status quo, free from the shackles of political correctness!”