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POPULAR choreographer Taryn Makaab opens her newest production, Syzygy, at the iZulu Theatre soon.
Makaab described the work as an exploration of love and self.
“It’s easy to get wrapped up in everyday life. It’s fun to get lost in love and romance. But holding on to yourself while doing this is the most important thing.”
Makaab said Syzygy presented “episodes of life” through hip hop, ballet, contemporary and break dancing with a cast of 19 professional dancers.
“Syzygy has a number of definitions, but the one that most suits this show revolves around the coming together of two individuals who have an influence on each other for that moment, and when they walk away they stay true to the individual,” explained Makaab.
“Syzygy is not a story that connects from one piece to the next, but it’s about episodes in life, like love/hate relationships and the general business of life.
“I realised with Under Construction (an earlier production by Makaab) that the audience can get lost in story, so I decided to rather represent shorter episodes in life with Syzygy.”
A mix of contemporary dance, ballet and hip hop, Makaab said each episode was jointly choreo-graphed by about five dance makers to show off the different dance forms and the Break-Thru Dance Company’s fusion style.
“The concept and direction is done by me, inspired by (choreographer) Adele Blank. She’s always been an inspiration to me, since I was young.”
The music selection in Syzygy includes popular favourites as well as new age dub-step and classical music.
Break-Thru Dance Company is a little entity that has made a big impression on the fusion dance scene since starting in 2009 with its initial production, Under Construction 1 – a mix of ballet, freestyle, hip hop, beat boxing and more. The show was so popular that Under Construction 2 soon followed. Other hit shows staged by the company were Dollz and Beyond Breaking Pointe, popular for its combination of pure classical ballet technique, contemporary and street dance.
A highlight for the company was opening for the Busta Rhymes and T-Pain concert in Durban in 2010.
Makaab has studied and worked professionally abroad at – among others – The Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre (as a soloist at the age of 18).
After two years in New York City, she returned to South Africa for a lead role in African Footprint (an international musical), for four years. The show took Makaab to Germany, France, Holland, Mexico, North America, India, Ghana and many other countries.
She founded Break-Thru Dance Company in 2009 as part of her vision to work with and develop younger dancers.
We asked why we’d not seen Break-Thru performing in Durban as often as they are seen at iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino.
“We are hoping to tour, even Joburg and Cape Town, but it depends on whether we get sponsorship. Sibaya have been really great in supporting us and we’ve enjoyed a completely sold-out run with our previous show there. But at this point we rehearse as a project-based company. So hopefully people will come see the show and invest in the company through sponsorship.
“It would be great to get these dance fusion shows to more audiences because the more people who see the shows, the more the audience grows,” said Makaab.
• Syzygy stages from September 25 to 28 with shows at 7.30pm and a 2.30pm matinee on September 28. Tickets are R120 through Computicket.