Shop our latest arrivals for shoes & apparel now!
DIRECTOR: Debbie Turner
CAST: Cape Dance Company
WITH Cadence, the Cape Dance Company (CDC) again shows it is in a class of its own.
CDC is one of the few South African dance companies working in the neoclassical ballet genre – it has consistently produced excellent work, has expanded its repertoire over the years by bringing in choreographers from all over, and it is getting stronger.
Plus, despite budget constraints, Debbie Turner has found a way to hold on to a group of dancers who have become the heart of her project-based dance company.
This programme starts with a new work by Canadian choreo-grapher Joshua Beamish, Keep Cover, which draws on the way the dancers interact with each other when not dancing.
He has created an exacting piece which has them fitting into each other like puzzle pieces before breaking off mid-sentence.
Grant van Ster is CDC’s strongest dancer – he combines an athletic grace with a strong stage presence and simply dominates. Plus, that smile says he is just loving it. He partnered Louisa Talbot on the pas de deux from David Krugel’s Nature of Being – an exquisite duet which forms part of a larger piece that sees all of the participants work as an organic whole – and her distinctive personality comple- ments him very nicely indeed.
“Cadence” means a rhythmic flow of a sequence and this particular Krugel choreography suits the company to a T. Hopefully they will get a chance to reprise the whole work again soon.
Talbot, with the graceful Tamryn van Houten and James Bradley, have been with CDC the longest.
Bradley (pictured with Alice Godfrey) in particular just never puts a foot wrong – he is always exactly where he needs to be, and the thing about being a solid presence is people simply take you for granted.
In Bradley Shelver’s minimalist scenes – a ballet inspired by the process of creativity, opening with a sequence in which one of the dancers voices his frustration at not being able to do it the way he wants to – Bradley dances a trio with Mthuthuzeli November and Nathan Bartman.
While the other two can keep up with him they have to work at it, while Bradley’s experience shows in the way he makes it look so easy. He is a solid anchor for the com- pany and to neglect that is to do him an injustice. It is good to see his name pop up as helping to restage Treasures of the Heart for the CDCII Repertory Ensemble.
The ensemble’s inclusion in this particular programme was odd – while Turner needs to show the trainees and their parents what they are working towards, they do not look anywhere near as strong as the professional dancers simply because of a lack of experience.
They were just so gosh-darn cute though, even when they were a bit wobbly, but cute has no place on this otherwise nimbly executed, strong programme.
Shaun Oelf and Alice Godfrey made for an ethereal dance couple in Turner’s delicate Love Always. Their partnership generates some exquisite dancing – he is gravity- defying and she is really brilliant at frozen animation, her control impeccable.
Christopher L Huggins’ sen- suous Bolero is a climactic and fitting end to the evening. Each of the dancers had a chance to show off a bit as they challenged each other. Ravel’s score is hypnotic and the dancing is hot.
Cadence is the must-see production for the holidays; too bad the season is so short.