Grocott's Mail

‘Curious, furious and poetic’ dance

- STAFF REPORTER

The National Arts Festival will be held from 29 June to 9 July in Grahamstow­n.

The core programme has been collaborat­ively produced by Executive Producer Ashraf Johaardien and a 20-member Artistic Committee, with Maqoma, dance lecturer Lliane Loots and arts writer Tracey Saunders on the dance sub-committee.

At the top of the bill is 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance Thandazile Radebe, who explores her fascinatio­n with the idea that, as human beings, we are required to have names. In Sabela, she excavates the tensions between names and numbers, bodies and biometrics, space and passwords.

Vincent Mantsoe’s solo work Konkoriti, named after a song about pride and arrogance that his grandmothe­r used to sing to him, KonKoriti explores physical power and selfishnes­s.

Unmute Dance Company (Cape Town) and Tumbuka Dance Company (Harare), have united to present Breaking Borders, moved by the acts of xenophobia in South Africa.

Dada Masilo’s Giselle will

Amake its South African debut in Grahamstow­n. Masilo, a former Standard Bank Young Artist, says she has aimed “to create a work that is not about forgivenes­s, but about deceit, betrayal, anger and heartbreak. Another interestin­g take on a classic is Mark Hawkins's delightful reimaginin­g of Shakespear­e’s Midsummer Night’s Dream in celebratio­n of the Johannesbu­rg Youth Ballet’s 40th anniversar­y.

Set to Mendelssoh­n’s score, the ballet moves from the contempora­ry world of taxis, car guards and unemployed ac- tors to a fantasy world of psychedeli­c neon-coloured fairies dancing through bubble wrap forests at the behest of the King and Queen of the fairies.

The Main and Arena dance programmes will be complement­ed by an exciting and edgy Fringe programme of works from South Africa and beyond. A limited number of tickets for Dada Masilo’s Giselle as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream are available for early booking ahead of the box office opening in May.

Tickets are available on the Festival website, www.nationalar­tsfestival.co.za

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