Love, dance at time of alien­ation

David Kramer’s new show at the Fu­gard is set at the time new apartheid laws loomed

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - METRO - LUKE FOLB

CAPE Town’s cul­ture of ball­room danc­ing takes cen­tre stage in the lat­est orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion from South African the­atre stal­wart David Kramer.

Lan­garm is a story of love and in­trigue set in the world of Cape Town’s ball­room dance scene in the 1960s.

With the threat of new apartheid laws hang­ing over their heads, peo­ple will do al­most any­thing to sur­vive and pro­tect their re­la­tion­ships.

Play­ing the lead roles of Jeff and An­gelina are Cameron Botha and Rush­ney Fer­gu­son, a pair of dancers and lovers of dif­fer­ent hues whose bond is threat­ened as the apartheid laws loom large over them.

Botha said, “Ev­ery­one can iden­tify with each char­ac­ter and find in them what brings us to­gether.

“He meets An­gelina and they sneak­ily start danc­ing to­gether, and he has feel­ings for her.”

The story takes place in 1965 when Di­nah Levin (Kim Louis) is wid­owed and in­vites her nephew, Jeff, whose fi­ancée has just dumped him, to help her man­age her late hus­band’s Can­ter­bury Ho­tel. Here, Jeff meets ball­room dancer An­gelina and when her part­ner leaves her in the lurch she asks Jeff to part­ner her in The Swazi­land Ball­room Cham­pi­onships.

“Love is dif­fi­cult and has a risk, a big risk, but they love each other. She takes a while to set­tle in but she comes more into her role,” said Fer­gu­son.

The pair leaned on Kramer for ad­vice and au­then­tic­ity in the mu­si­cal.

“I started off with David in Kanala. I watched him work and saw the way he puts things to­gether and works through the process,” she said.

Botha de­scribed Kramer’s stage work as a “masterclass in the­atre”.

“Every day you see the amount of re­search he puts in for a story. He al­ways says his job as a di­rec­tor is to make our lives dif­fi­cult.

“That brings so much depth to the pro­duc­tion and makes it all the more bet­ter.”

The pair felt that act­ing in a mu­si­cal was dif­fi­cult – hav­ing to master sev­eral as­pects of the pro­duc­tion.

“It’s ar­tis­ti­cally heavy and de­mand­ing on you to master all the dis­ci­plines. There’s noth­ing nat­u­ral about singing and danc­ing while telling a story at all,” said Botha.

Fer­gu­son said it was sig­nif­i­cant that the pro­duc­tion was be­ing staged in District Six.

“Peo­ple will love watch­ing the show be­cause it gives them a voice to come back to the area where they came from, and that makes it im­por­tant for us to tell this story as au­then­ti­cally as pos­si­ble and do it jus­tice.”

Lan­garm is on at the Fu­gard The­atre, District Six, from November 20.

DANNY Clinch took this photo of Tu­pac Shakur in 1993. It’s one of the more mov­ing shots in Vikki Tobak’s new book, His­tory of Hip-Hop.Con­tact High: A Vis­ual

Starts its run on November 20.


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