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Sunday, September 8, 2019


(Pics by Val Adamson Photography)

For the 27th time, directors Neville Letard and Caryl Cusens have pulled off another triumph. (Review by Janet Whelan)

Last night once again the Playhouse Opera came alive with an exhilarating performance of Shall We Dance. For the 27th time, directors Neville Letard and Caryl Cusens have pulled off another triumph.

The show opened with the whole cast of nearly 100 dancers on stage to rousing applause by the audience. This was immediately followed by the international champions Nikolaj (Denmark) and Marta Kocik (Poland) who, after nearly 40 hours due to flight delays, had only arrived in Durban the day before. As always, their performance was faultless and they brought each dance alive with their sparkling personalities.

The Dance Basics juniors have to be admired for their confidence and enthusiasm for dance. They are a delight to watch.

One of the highlights for me was the item that included the Strictly Ballroom and the Young Dancers’ Project superbly choreographed by Neville Letard and Candice Danielz. Also choreographed by Danielz was a very moving piece danced to a narration of Still I Rise by American poet Maya Angelou.

The second half of the show opened with a very clever interpretation of the Circle of Life by the cast. The costumes were basically zebra print with splashes of the other colours making up the South African flag, so look out for that.

In addition, there were tap dancers and the ever-popular belly dancers, not forgetting the show-stopping “brand of awesomeness” produced by the amazing South African and international champions Gerhard van Rooyen and Amor Kruger. The Rudra Dance Theatre and the Young Dancers’ Project showcased a very clever fusion of cultures with their Indian and Spanish number, while another South African and international champion duo, Ryan and Angelique Hammond, also thrilled the audience with their athletic ability.

The specially-commissioned Argentine Tango performed by Nikolaj and Marta was both sensual and beautiful, enhanced by the superb red lighting effect.

Aside from the professionals, the dozens of local dancers showed off their talent and their love of dance and their enthusiasm left the audience smiling. The beautiful costumes and the superb lighting effects throughout created by Dylan Heaton added to the overall effect of a thoroughly professional presentation of dance in all its forms ably stage-managed by Steve Normington.

Don’t miss Shall We Dance which runs in the Playhouse Opera until September 15, 2019, nightly at 19h30 with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 15h00. Ticket prices range from R100 to R160, with concessions being offered on specific dates. Booking is through Webtickets or instore at Pick n Pay Supermarkets or Hypermarkets.

For more information like the Facebook page, Shall We Dance Durban. - Janet Whelan