The South African State Theatre is proud to announce that the newly revived and revamped Dance Umbrella Africa (DUA) will launch under the theme Figure-ring – The State of Dance in Africa in late March this year.
#DUA2019 will embrace all genres of dance, from authentic South African dance pantsula to diverse classical, contemporary, and dance theatre. The focus will be on four thematic or conceptual categories of dance works: Figuring- The perplexed; Figure- The particular; Figured- The proficient; and Figurine- The peculiar.
Mamela Nyamza, who is Deputy Artistic Director at SAST and Curator of DUA 2019 explains that the festival will let both dance artists and the audience to “figure”, whether they are still “figuring”– being perplexed by their journey; whether they are already “figured” – already established or proficient in their art; whether they are on course to “figure” the historically known; or whether they are already a “figurine” – the creatives labelled as trouble-makers, for their peculiar or uncomfortable work .
For the “Figurine” themed performances, artists such as Nomcebisi Moyikwa, Kieron Jina, and many more will bring out the nuances of the peculiar, the uncomfortable and edgy works. Regarding the “Figured”, the “Figuring”, and the “Figure” themed performances, works of the new generation who are becoming legends in their own rights dancers such as, Levern Botha, and raw brilliance of Oupa Sibeko, Joel Leonard amongst many participating artists, will refreshingly overwhelm audiences.
The Theatre’s Artistic Director, Aubrey Sekhabi says DUA 2019 will bring diverse dance artists from across the African Continent and the world with the aim to positively contribute to our shared humanity and heritage, but importantly DUA 2019 is a committed effort to create the home for African dance at the South African State Theatre.
The festival will be a week-long programme, set to open on Sunday, 31 March 2019, and will close on Saturday, 7 April 2019. Over hundred dancers will be showcasing works on various stages and venues at the Theatre. A full programme will be made available soon.
‘The Dance Umbrella Africa 2019 launch will be a space where the artists, the art lovers and art patrons will have a chance to witness a revived dance festival, with a vein of happiness, relaxation, and indeed commitment to the future of the arts,’ says Nyamza.