JUST as we were getting used to the annual Dance Umbrella being included in the Arts Alive programme in September, Georgina Thomson from Dance Forum, which organises the festival, decided to have a three-day event this month to celebrate its 25th birthday.
Sonia Radebe, from Moving Into Dance Mophatong, presents Treasure to a Being on the opening night. She is using company dancers to focus on the gift of the present and not to dwell on the past or the future. Gregory Maqoma’s Beautiful Us and two works by Thabo Kobeli and Carly Dibakwane complete the programme.
The second evening includes a work by participants in last year’s DanceXchange professional development residency, overseen by Alfred Hinkel at his Garage studios in Oukiep and funded by Rand Merchant Bank.
I don’t, I can’t, I won’t, created by Byron Klassen, Olivia Daniels, Richie Cloete and Marquen Carstens, combines the talents of an emerging choreographer, a trainee, a trained actor and therapist, and a fashion designer from Bergsig. Works by Thabo Rapoo, students from Tshwane University of Technology, Jayesperi Moopen and Nthabiseng Segoe are also featured. Later the same evening, Athena Mazarakis presents her moving Standing By, first commissioned by Rhodes University in 2011 then developed into a full-length site-specific work in residency at Goethe on Main last year. Mazarakis delves into the explosive territory of gender-based violence with specific focus on the so-called corrective rape of lesbians.
On February 16, Sello Pesa’s Ntsoana Dance Theatre’s Displacement Powerlines tackles technology’s encroachment on society and the emergence of new social rituals. It is performed by Humphrey Maleka and Brian Mtembu.
The final line-up is a mixed bag with works by Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative’s Charlston van Rooyen, Thulani Chauke and Fana Tshabalala (Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance 2013); South African Mzansi Ballet with an excerpt from Don Quixote and Amakhonokhono and Christopher Kindo’s Me and You by the K-Mad Dance Company.
• Dance Umbrella, Wits Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, February 14-16. (011) 492-2033 www.artslink.co.za/arts