Festival shows ‘dance is alive and thriving’

Sifiso Khumalo and Yaseen Manuel in Maktub. The production forms part of the Baxter Dance Festival’s main programme.PHOTO: Val Adamson
Sifiso Khumalo and Yaseen Manuel in Maktub. The production forms part of the Baxter Dance Festival’s main programme.PHOTO: Val Adamson

Milestone anniversaries usually tend to be joyous occasions, and for the Baxter Dance Festival, there is certainly a lot to celebrate. Since its launch, the festival has showcased some of the finest dance talents and choreographers in the Western Cape and the country.

Nicolette Moses, associate producer and planning manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre, welcomed the audience on the festival’s opening night, which took place on Thursday 27 September.

“Fifteen years… who would have thought! What an amazing achievement for the dance fraternity of Cape Town. You’ve done this!”

She said dance was alive and thriving in Cape Town and that the next 10 days would pay testament to this.

“If we take nothing else away from the past 15 years it is that we have learned to nurture, encourage, support and collaborate. We have challenged each other over the years and have grown through the process.”

She encouraged dance makers to take ownership in a way that promotes the survival of not just a platform, but dance as an art form.

Ignatius van Heerden kicked off the festival’s main programme with the complex and multi-layered Nijinsky’s War followed by Unravelled – a collaboration between Sasha Fourie, Natasha Rhoda, Rae Claasen, Lee Piedt, Marlin Zoutman and Yaseen Manuel.

The Off Main programme followed on Saturday 28 September. It comprised works by 15 dynamic choreographers: Leroy Samuels, Christopher Sherwood-Adcock, Tasmin Andrews, Abdul Isaacs, Ahneesh Valodia, James Bradley, Simone Marshall-Kleinenberg, Desiree Lee Angus, Kim Pretorius, Kyle Andrew Grant, Olwethu Sotiya, Kristy Brown, Wanie Johannes, Amanda Guma and Tanzley Jooste.

The Highfliers – a new category for established and seasoned dance-makers and companies to create, explore and develop new works – took place yesterday, Monday 30 September.

The line-up included Forever Without End choreographed by Celeste Botha, Contraband choreographed by Michelle Reid, Say Something, Do Something choreographed by Janine Booysens, Distance Call choreographed by Bruno Wani, Ingxolo yabafazi (Stories of Women) choreographed by Sbonakaliso Ndaba, Oblivion choreographed by Craig Pedro, Dead Girls Dancing choreographed by Ebrahim Medell and Abeedah Medell and It’s Ok, You’re Okay choreographed by Marlin Zoutman.

The rest of the main programme continues today (Tuesday 1 October) with Maktub by Yaseen Manuel, Perspective by Yellow Frame Films, choreographed by Shirley-Anne Bezuidenhout, Blame it On the Algorithm by Darkroom Contemporary and Image by Dance Theater Africa, choreographed by Tercia Amsterdam.

On Thursday 3 October and Friday 4 October, the line-up features Crossroad by Fo8, Sun of a Daughter by New World Dance Company, choreographed by Marlin Zoutman and Aweh Maria by Garage.

The Fringe, with more than 20 dance pieces by choreographers and studios from the Western Cape, will close the festival on Saturday 5 October.

“The dance community has served the festival well over the years and we are grateful to each one of them for making the programme richer and more meaningful. I am so proud that many successful careers have been launched at the festival since its inception,” says Moses.

Ticket prices start at R40 the for the fringe programme and R100 for the main programme.

V Bookings can be done at Webtickets or at any Pick n Pay store.

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