Following the success of Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro at Joburg Theatre, Vuyani Dance Theatre returns to Johannesburg for the annual Vuyani Week to close off their twentieth-anniversary celebrations.
Newtown-based African contemporary dance company Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) has produced a number of pieces over the past 20 years that have kept South African and international audiences captivated and excited about the company. These pieces will resurface during the annual Vuyani Week, taking place at the Dance Factory from 8 to 10 November 2019, in the form of a collage that looks at how far the company has come to date.
The 2019 class of dancers will extract excerpts from some of the iconic VDT productions as part of the main programme. The work will include Trilogies and award-winning productions like the globally acclaimed Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro.
Vuyani is committed to promoting self-expression, empowerment and leadership skills to young dancers as they find their own artistic voices as dancers and choreographers and it is with this commitment in mind that we continue to emphasise the importance of a platform such as Vuyani Week for both the company dancers as well as the learners from VDT’s outreach programme, with whom they work on a weekly basis throughout the year. Vuyani Week is a family orientated season that connects the company’s professional dancers and trainees with the outreach protégés on a shared stage.
As we come out of October, mental health awareness month, mental health has become a big aspect of the country’s ongoing discourse. Tshepo Molusi saw the need to create The Convincer, a work that looks at schizophrenia. In the same theme of looking at the mind as a tool that affects our outlook on life, Musa Motha challenges audiences in his work Two Feet in One Shoe and says: ‘Normalised realities exist in all our lives. We all live within the confines of what we have normalised. But what is normal? Is your normal the definition of normal or is it mine? Reflect, question and reconfigure your reality.’
We see the return of senior dancer Roseline Wilkens, who has created a quartet piece, The knot, and Ernest Balene has created a work about living in hope in days of uncertainty. In her production, which is part of a programme designed to connect the city, its structures and the people that interact with it, Thabang Mojapelo asks: ‘White pages filled with words. Ingrained within these words are imposed meanings, histories and codes. Engraved within these words is dictated knowledge. But who bares the power to decode and invent this knowledge, create/recreate the narrative and extract the depth of the contents of the pages?’
Vuyani Week 2019 will be an opportunity to reflect on and embody what was in order to create the present; the future being informed by what was and what is while we dance the archive, dancing the imagination, dancing memory, legacy and history while shaping the next 20 years.
Friday 8 November
19:30 – Dancing the Archive
Saturday 9 November
13:00 – Dancing the City (Guided tour starting at Newtown Junction next to News Café) Free entrance
19:30 – Dancing the Imagination
Sunday 10 November
14:30 – Dancing the Future (Including School’s Outreach)
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