A "Colourful" Production

What's On - Durban

Colourful - a thought provoking dance production that centers around the Apartheid regime is set to stage at the Playhouse theatre this week.

Under the auspices of the Wentworth Arts and Culture organisation professional development programme and supported by the NAC, this is the first professional showcase that is choreographed and directed by Jarryd Watson.  

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Jarryd Watson rehearsing with cast members for the controversial dance production Colourful to be staged on the April 22 at the Playhouse.The cast of Colourful prepare for their first professional production.Jarryd Watson will stage his first professional theatre production at the Playhouse on April 22 for two shows only.

Tonight spoke to Watson about what’s in store for audiences.

Tell us about Colourful?

It’s is a dance production that tells the story of the lives of many South Africans' from the transition of apartheid to democracy and all the different journeys they experienced during these two eras. The style of the show is contemporary and hip hop genre dancing with a narration from a poet where the dancers  also perform to his lyrics.

And the name?

The name Colourful came from the old apartheid South African flag and the new democracy South African flag. The dancers costumes are also the colours of the two flags, depicting the apartheid regime and the democracy.  It also came from the diverse rainbow nation we have in South Africa.

What dances have you incorporated into the production?

The dance routines are contemporary dance in the first half of the show, where a lot of the movement are lyrical performances that have daring lifts with our partner work but the abstract contemporary style also tell the story of the segregation during apartheid, specifically the group areas act, the non - interracial act and the pencil test that was used to determine one’s race. I used quite a bit of the artist Ben Harper's songs entitled oppression and gospel. Both these songs were very fitting to show how many South Africans were oppressed by the Apartheid regime and with the gospel song how those who got together to stand against apartheid. The  "Sweet disposition" song by the group Temper Trap is used in the democracy scene and reveals the solace of many South Africans in today’s democracy. The narration is said by a poet and came from the voices of many communities.  

It’s your first professional production, why the wait?

Well in the arts industry it takes a long time to build up a repertoire and in order to receive arts funding you have to be doing work for 5-7 years so even though I have been eligible for a while  to meet the criteria our organisation only received funding last year to put on professional work.

How are coping with the nerves of putting on a professional performance?

I'm anxious as this is the first show where I am appealing to a different audiences to support oppose those who know me from the community. So while I’m excited about this I’m also very anxious as I don’t know how the greater Durban audiences will react to this.

Tell me more about the Wentworth Arts and Culture organisation and the work that is done there.

It has been in existences 23 years and is a multi arts organisation that works in the development of arts in dance, music, drama, film, poetry and visual arts with the disadvantaged youth and artists to provide opportunity and exposure within the arts industry for them. I have been working with the organisation for 10  years now.

What reactions are you hoping for?

Well what any choreographer and director want, and that’s for the audience to appreciate and enjoy the work we do. More so, to identify with the story been told, as Colourful showcases the voice of many South Africans.

Why should audience watch the show?

Because it’s thought provoking, controversial, enlightening  and entertaining to watch as it also concurrently runs with the political situation our country is experiencing.

* Colourful will run for only two shows on April 22 at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are R120 and are available at computicket and at the 2pm show. Block booking concessions are available for schools, social groups, youth groups and other groups. For more information on tickets and concessions contact 082 683 9665.

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