Africa in Motion

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TO NDR isiphetu3 Val Adamson

DURBAN’S renowned Flatfoot Dance Company will present its new season at the Stable Theatre this week.

The show isiphethu marks a continuation of the company’s three-year partnership with the theatre to present a special season of new African contemporary dance works.

It will feature three pieces.

A press release said isiphethu is a Zulu word which means “the well” and that this season of three new dance works dives into considering the power of the image and symbol of “the well” to nurture and support the heart and spirit of the individual and the community.

The season will feature three new choreographic works by senior company members Sifiso Majola, Jabu Siphika and Sifiso “Kitsona” Khumalo under the direction of Flatfoot’s Artistic Director, Lliane Loots.

Tonight managed to catch two of the three choreographers to chat about isiphethu.

Majola said for him isiphethu was “clean water, the nicest water, that I believe comes from God... My piece is Gugulami , which means “my pride”... I’ve been teaching, I’ve been choreographing, I’ve been learning and dancing...So Gugulami speaks about the notion “I’ve been discovered, and then I discovered you”.

“The piece looks at life and where we come from, it is also about my personal journey... coming back to me and people I’ve worked under and people I’ve taught... We tend to forget where we come from and also we tend to forget the people who helped us get into the industry. For me I’ve got to consider who made me as Sifiso Majola... In life we must remember where we come from. In the industry, once we get exposure we tend to forget who groomed us to become who we are,” he explained.

For Khumalo isiphethu is the well from which we draw refreshing water and something he will interpret in his piece, Ugubhu.

“Ugubhu is a certain African drum and it also talks about the sound from that drum and that’s why I used Ugubhu as a reference point for something that speaks about something from within. Something that moves you, that makes you move your body... whether it is a loud voice or a loud sound from within, but it’s that sound that moves you.

“Ugubhu is an exploration for the joys and the triumphs in life. As we dance we use music and the music I use, I use as a reference to ugubhu as a sound... We dance for joy, we dance when we are sad, we dance when we celebrate our lives... Celebrating, dancing, using our physical beings on stage as we celebrate our lives and whatever moves us to be who we are.”

Khumalo also credited Lliane Loots, Flatfoot artistic director, for their success and achievements.

“She’s a very good person, a very good choreographer. But, especially when she works with younger choreographers, she gives you a chance to say your views and add your voice to a piece. So it’s not just her work. Yes, she is a choreographer and artistic director but she gives you room to express your creativity. As much as we respect Lliane as our superior, she also respects us.”

He encourages people to come and enjoy their new season at the Stable Theatre. “Come and feast your eyes on the beauty of the sound and movement on stage.”

Flatfoot is KZN’s premier African contemporary dance company, with numerous awards for their work and recent international tours under their belts.

• isiphethu has morning performances for school pupils to experience dance theatre. For pre-bookings 082 875 6065 or e-mail [email protected] Times are May 22 (Thursday) at 11am, May 23 (Friday) at 11am and 6.30pm, and May 25 (Sunday) at 3pm. Tickets R50 (adults), R25 (students and pensioners).


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