What to see at Dance Umbrella 2018
There's a lot to choose from!
Posted: Mar 05 2018
The 2018 Dance Umbrella Festival is officially in full swing. With this year being Dance Umbrella’s 30th year running, they’ve got a host of new and innovative works designed to stir the senses, provoke the mind, and of course, to entertain.
With different shows taking place across the city, we’ve rounded up a few of our picks from this year’s programme which place personal, environmental, universal, and gender-based issues at centre stage.
By Musa Hlatshwayo
Musa Hlatshwayo is a well-known dancer and one of this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winners. DODA is Hlatshwayo’s piece for this year’s Dance Umbrella and is a dance theatre duet that explores black, male identity. The piece was inspired by the recent media focus on the ongoing violence against young, black women at the hands of men. If you’re looking to learn, and to engage with issues around gender-based violence, then seeing Hlatshwayo’s piece is the perfect way to do so. DODA also forms part of a double-bill with Louise Coetzer’s IN C – a vibrant and energetic portrayal of the contrast between synchronicity and counterpoint.
By Sello Pesa
If you didn’t catch Bag Beatings at The Centre for the Less Good Idea, be sure to see it at Dance Umbrella. The piece, an experimental bit of theatre and movement, sees a boxer, a boxing ring, and a punching bag. The bag is made to be an opponent, never fighting back unless it is made to by the boxer. Bag Beatings is a humorous as well as unsettling bit of performance, that’s likely changed and taken a new form since its premier at The Centre for the Less Good Idea.
Put your heart under your feet…and walk!
By Steven Cohen
A definite highlight of this year’s programme is artist and performer Steven Cohen’s Put your heart under your feet…and walk! After losing his childhood caregiver and part-time collaborator Nomsa, as well as his partner Elu (who performed many a work at past Dance Umbrellas), Cohen set to work on a multifaceted project comprising of video, installation, and performance. The work is a meditation on grief and loss, and looks sure to tug directly on our heartstrings.
By PJ Sabbagha, in collaboration with Athena Mazarakis, Nicholas Aphane and Shawn Motupi
From ...Noise by PJ Sabbagha
If you’re passionate about the environment and our place within it, Noah is for you. Noah is a return to and the final part of PJ Sabbagha’s ‘Noah’s’ trilogy. Started in 1998 with Noah’s Phobia and followed by Noah’s Drowning, the final part of the trilogy brings into sharp focus the ever-present realities of environmental degradation and climate change.
By Owen Lonzar and Sylvaine Strike
A theatrical take on historical and contemporary issues, Doll sees choreographer Owen Lonzar and theatre director Sylvaine Strike explore the life of an online order, ownership; desire, disappointment; objectification and Harvey Weinstein.
These are just a few of JHBLive’s picks. Be sure to check out the full programme over here.