The annual Baxter Dance Festival will take place from 5 to 14 October 2017.
The 2017 Baxter Dance Festival consists of the Main Programme, which will include invited and commissioned works, as well as work by established professional choreographers and companies and runs for the entire festival. The Off-Main Programme, on Saturday 7 October, will showcase works by up-and-coming choreographers (including student work), and the Fringe Programme on Saturday 15 October, will include work by youth groups, dance schools, school groups, traditional dance groups and others. The festival is the premier dance event of its kind in the Western Cape and has become a must-see platform for studios, companies, choreographers and dance-enthusiasts. Notwithstanding its limited funding, the festival continues to grow significantly every year, making it the ideal festival to experience the diversity and enormous dance talent in the province. The Baxter Dance Festival aims to create opportunities for emergent and recognised dance companies and choreographers to present their work, while nurturing and promoting the diverse dance talent in the Western Cape. The festival creates the ideal environment to experience and see work by established professionals, as well as exciting up-and-coming dance practitioners.
The Baxter Theatre Centre provides a comprehensive production package to participants, including lighting, sound, technical assistance, publicity, box office facilities, printed programmes and pre-show rehearsal arrangements, making it an efficient experience for contributing dance groups and companies. Previous choreographers of the commissioned work are Ebrahim Medell (2005), Marlin Zoutman (2006), collaborators Yarisha Singh and Celeste Botha (2007), Levern Botha (2008), Mamela Nyamza (2009), Carolyn Holden from La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre (2010), Grant van Ster (2011), Ananda Fuchs (2012), Steven van Wyk and Thalia Laric in 2014 and Louise Coetzer of Darkroom Contemporary in 2016. These choreographers have continued to make their mark in the world of dance, both locally and abroad. Since its inception in 2004, more than 500 local choreographers have showcased their work at the festival, featuring some 4 000 dancers from more than 400 studios, dance schools, projects and professional companies from across the Western Cape, presenting an array of dance styles and genres including contemporary, classical, African, modern and Spanish.