The Tshwane Dance Theatre, introduced their season of 15 Mins of Fame to the Gauteng audiences on 1 April. The Opening Night was spectacular and made me realize how our dancers developed over the past two or three years.
The season consists of four short ballets; the choreographers were challenged to create a work of fifteen minutes long which would “excite, stimulate, push the envelope and burst onto the stage in an eruption of visual pleasure, emotion, intelligence and joy.” Congratulations to the choreographers and dancers as they did just that.
The first piece, Silken Road, was choreographed by Thabo Rapoo. The audience was sent on a journey along a path with an eventual intersection/connection between two worlds. One could experience the turmoil we experience as emotional beings, between what we desire and what is sometimes the reality of our lives. The dancers were precise, and the technique impeccable yet they allowed the audience a glimpse of the raw passion and emotions running through their veins. The costume design was simple, yet effective and allowed the audience to enjoy the sheer strength and agility of the dancers. The dancers were so well rehearsed that they could move in unison to create the perfect harmony of dancing bodies.
Synonymns for Seth, was choreographed by Marie-Louise Basson. The choreography was cleverly done and although the piece was very intense it was still enjoyable. The guest artist, Leigh Novis, is a 14-year old girl, in remission from Hodgkin’sn cancer. A very courageous girl and one could also feel and experience her struggles and emotional journey, with the barriers – physical and mental – that very often lead to fear and the inherent paralyses the fear instills in our modern living and environment.
Synonymns for Seth, was followed by the piece, Here and Now, choreographed by Celeste Botha. It was also a very intense and thought-provoking piece and one almost forgot to breathe as the dancers performed their steps with precision, agility and passion. The audience was treated to true dance architecture and was yet again made aware of how ever-evolving the dance as art form can be. The costume design was yet again simplistic, highly effective – and the audience was given the opportunity to focus on the dancing and ability of the dancers.
The last ballet of the evening, All the Kings Horses, was the work of the choreographer, Timothy Le Roux. This compelling ballet dealt with the issues of colonialism and challenged our own views of the haves and the extreme have nots. The interesting choice of music with the simplistic lines of the costumes created a feeling of still being in the revolutionary era but transferred to the modern age - drawn into this struggle to be part of the ‘haves’.
The ballets were thought-provoking yet the choreography and choice of music refreshing and interesting. I am very proud to see how our dancers in South Africa developed and challenge us as audience to also want more and expect more – it was truly an eruption of visual pleasure, emotion, intelligence and yes JOY!
Congratulations to the Tshwane Dance Theatre dancers: "You left a permanent and pleasant impression on the audience as you danced with passion and with love and joy in your hearts!"
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