School dance company launches DVD

2010-06-01 00:00

SEVEN small, but very beautiful dance portraits by the Epworth LiveArt Dance Company have been captured on camera for the company’s first retrospective DVD.

Epworth in Golf Road, Pietermaritzburg, was the first school in KwaZulu-Natal to set up a dance company to promote and teach contemporary dance and physical theatre to pupils. That was back in 2001 and such has been the success of the the company that it has been invited to perform on the fringe at this year’s Jomba! dance festival in Durban.

The driving force behind the creation of the company is the school’s director of theatre Anton Immelman. “I hope to get onto the Jomba! main and then, eventually, to take the girls to the FNB Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg,” he said, adding that because the girls dance once a week throughout the year they are technically very good.

“We started a dance programme in 1995 and it was formalised in 2001. Our dancers are both beginners and girls with some dance experience.

“In the first term we work on creating a repertoire, performing at the school open day and doing travelling performances. In the second term the focus is on Funk, which has created an atmosphere in Pietermaritzburg conducive to dance. And, in the third term we take part in an inter-schools dance programme where we invite schools who take part in Funk to do their work and to choreograph some new pieces.”

Asked why he had decided to create the DVD, Immelman said: “In the past eight years as a choreographer, I have created a lot of work, some of which I want to be able to recreate later on. But, I suddenly realised that I had no record of what we had done. No legacy had been left. People couldn’t look back and see what had been done.

“The main reason I want to be able to recreate the repertoire is that I want to take the girls to FNB Dance Umbrella. The other reason is that many of the girls apply to drama departments, so it would be nice for them to be able to take a performance piece with them as applicants.”

The dance DVD includes Epworth’s pieces created for Funk in 2007, 2008 and 2009, a duet titled Lost in Relationship and a work called Flatfoot, which is inspired by the pupils’ work with the Flatfoot Dance Company from Durban.

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