Dance Umbrella opens up

25 February 2009 - 02:00
By unknown

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

If you want to see something energetic on the dance floor, do yourself a favour and go and watch the ongoing dance festival FNB Dance Umbrella.

The festival started this week and will run a good part of next month at venues in and around Johannesburg.

The point is that Johannesburg is rocking, swinging and shaking with the best of new contemporary choreography and dance.

The FNB Dance Umbrella 2009, celebrating 21 years of new contemporary dance, will run until March 14 at the following venues: Wits Theatre Complex, Braamfontein, Dance Factory, Market Theatre and Market Theatre Laboratory in Newtown and at the University of Johannesburg Centre for the Arts in Auckland Park.

The first 10 days of this coming-of-age festival will include Gregory Maqoma's new work Skeleton Dry at the Market Theatre on Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Skeleton Dry has been influenced by the Skeleton Coast in Namibia - an untouched, lifeless terrain. The myth is that . "once one gets there they will not return". It is also said, that though it is uninhabitable, there is evidence of habitation (footprints and fossils) from the distant past.

A new work by Robyn Orlin, Walking next to our shoes . intoxicated by strawberries and cream, we enter continents without knocking, will be presented at the Market Laboratory on Friday at 8.15pm.

Tuning into the Void at Mary Fitzgerald Square, choreographed by Fabrice Guillot and Genevieve Mazin, will be on Saturday at noon and 5pm. This is a 40-minute piece for three aerial dancers where the stage extends into the public space.

Tracing, a collaboration piece by Joey Chua Poh Yi (Singapore) and Mcebisi Bhayi (South Africa), which looks at connecting Singapore and SA, is at the Dance Factory next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 2 and 3, at 7pm. Bhayi, a South African Xhosa man, who swears by his customs, and Chua, a Singaporean woman, who can barely speak her Chinese dialect Hakka, decided to start a dialogue.

A Triple Bill, also on March 2 and 3, at the Wits Theatre at 8pm features the Tami Dance Company (Nimrod Freed) from Israel and the South African Ntsoana Dance Company.