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Category: Contemporary dance

Ballet, dragged to new heights

IN THIS WORLD, where there is a growing pall of homophobic legislation in a whole clutch of countries, it is a breath of fresh air to see drag pushed all the way out in the spotlight. New York-based Men in Tutus brings some frissons of lewdness, a healthy […]

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How to dance up a storm

WHAT ARE THE basic parameters that inform a festival of contemporary dance? Should there be a gatekeeper who assesses wannabe shows on the gig and plays god, in his or her ability to give a hopeful group of applicants the ‘yay’ or ‘nay’? And who is that gatekeeper? […]

Ode to a broken swan

LIKE BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH Symphony or Van Gogh’s ear, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake has become iconic in a very broad understanding of what western culture is. Go to anyone in the street and competently whistle the tune of the Song of the Cygnets and they will know what you’re on […]

Desperately seeking Kitty

WHEN YOU ENTER the theatre, you might be full of frissons of excitement contingent on the promises of Fire and Ice, the name of this double bill danced by Joburg Ballet. As the works unfold, you might feel oddly let down. At best, the ice you will experience […]

Women with fire in their bellies

BOOKS AND THEIR inflammable contents, the perennially absent South African father, and unleashing the wrath of decolonised feminist fury are the issues central to the works staged by Themba Mbuli in Dance Umbrella, earlier this month. Mbuli’s topics are hot and relevant and the presentation is clear and […]

We, the fallen giants

SOMETIMES A WORK reaches your sensibilities in an ineffable way, giving voice to your most secret and unuttered notions of the rawness of loss, love and letting go. Sometimes that work can touch all those nerves and succeed in being so supremely beautiful and wistfully unhinged that you […]

Nightmare in the Amphitheatre

LET US BOMBARD our audience with flashing lights, a small dark venue simmering with the residue of stage smoke as they come in, and bits and bobs of sampled sound, thrown at them with such aggression that the context is illegible and the synapses of their brains forget […]