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ESTABLISHED choreographers and young up-and-coming artists alike will exhibit their skills at this year’s Baxter Dance Festival next month.
Now in its ninth year, the annual showcase has grown steadily into the premiere Cape Town platform for dance companies and choreo- graphers to present their work.
More than 50 entries will be seen, ranging in style from contemporary to neo-classical, flamenco, physical theatre, belly and Indian dancing.
On the main programme, established dance companies have been invited to present new works. Instead of a commissioned choreo- grapher, this year the festival will highlight three choreographers, with guest performances by Josh Beamish, Anani Sanouvi and Luyanda Sidiya.
Contemporary choreographer Beamish is the artistic director of the Vancouver company Move, one of Western Canada’s most prolific dance companies.
Togolese dancer and choreo- grapher Sanouvi recently visited the Baxter as the Rolex protégé for dance. He has been hailed for his ability to assimilate different traditions into his style, which is rooted in the knowledge and spiritual practice of animism.
Sidiya is artistic assistant at the Vuyani Dance Theatre for which he choreographed Umnikelo, which last year wowed Baxter Dance Festival audiences as the opening performance.
Also a surprise hit at last year’s festival were the Eoan Group Theatre Company, who this year feature three different choreo- graphers: Abeedah Medell with When We Fall, Mishkaah Medell with Re(verse) and Ebrahim Medell with Shifting Dependencies.
Also on the main programme is Grant van Ster (commissioned by the festival in 2011 to create Paradigm Shift), who will dance with Shaun Oelf in We Came, We Saw, We Concored and has choreo-graphed Perfect Sense for the Cape Academy of Performing Arts.
Choreographers Alfred Hinkel, Bradley Shelver, Mziyanda Mancam and Jackie Manyaapelo of Jazzart, Brigitte Reeve Taylor (BDRC), Mzokuthula Gasa (Sibonelo Dance Project), Gabriella Bishop (Yellow Glove Collective) and Mavis Becker (La Rosa) round out the main programme.
Louise Coetzer and her Darkroom Contemporary opened the festival two years ago with a performance of Canvas in the foyer and now they move on to the main programme with a performance piece entitled Swarm.
Ananda Fuchs will also present an extract from I Hit the Ground Running, a collaboration with Scenkonst Sörmland in Sweden, where she is currently presenting that particular performance.
The Off Main Programme, on Saturday, October 5, will showcase young emerging choreographers and student work.
The Fringe Programme on October 12 will feature work by youth groups, dance studios, school groups and traditional dancers.
This year’s Fringe includes Byron Klaasen working with Vredendal High School, Bridget America (Young Mosaic Dance Crown), Zodwa Dayani and Co (Likhwezi Arts Project) and Marlena Horak-Ardendorff (Gaia Dance Project).
• Baxter Dance Festival, October 3 to 12. See www.baxter.co.za for full schedule as the main pro-gramme changes every two days.