Category: Dance

In Praise of Dictators with Vision

“Compressor Pump” we used to call him, behind our hands, behind his back. Nasty caricatures were drawn of him on toilet doors and in the margins of lecture notes: a man with a big stomach, his nose in the air, a red face. He was the king. We […]

The dulling of exotic verve in Fremde Tänze

“The work begins outside”, people state as the crowd shifts and flows to the quasi-amphitheatre just beyond the foyer doors, and they are silenced in what is arguably one of the more beautiful, elegant and ironic starting points to this year’s Dance Umbrella. The choreographer/performer Nelisiwe Xaba is […]

Wena Mamela: Look and listen

She’s already dancing in a milky grey spotlight when you walk into the space. Amid the noise and rustle of an audience settling into itself and talking and laughing, she performs in a curious silence, marked by facial expressions at once comic and a little frightening. There is […]

On Fire: out of control

When you watch a piece as catastrophically chaotic as Constanza Macras’s On Fire choreographed for the gala opening of this year’s Dance Umbrella, you might be tempted to question what exactly a choreographer does. Unlike the previous works we have seen by this choreographer and her company, there […]