Wheelchair dancer, Bright Nzuza will be performing at the opening night of the 6th annual Durban Dance Movement festival. Photo by: Val Adamson

The 6th annual Durban Dance Movement festival returns this year to our shores for two showcases at the Durban Playhouse on September 14 and 15. The festival, which creates a platform for performances and showcases many talents of dance in a variety of genres like Hip Hop, Contemporary, Ballet, African, Bollywood and many other local styles, is one of the highlight on the social calendar of dance events and productions in Durban.

Artistic director Jarryd Watson said despite this year’s funding crisis and government cutting funds from Art organisations which create sustainability, promotion and access for artists on platforms like these, The Wentworth Arts and Culture Organisation in association with the Playhouse Company and support from the National Arts Council tussled against all odds to host this annual event.

This year the two day festival will see over 400 dancers from 32 dance groups around KZN perform different styles in from Hip Hop, Contemporary, African, Bollywood and others. Performances will be done from professional, senior and junior dance troupes.

Dancers who perform at Durban Dance Movement festival are selected through applications and are scrutinized making sure that only the ones that best exudes what the Durban Dance Movement festival is about are included.

“I am very excited because every year the dancers bring new and innovated ideas in their choreography that shows the growth in performances and their techniques. The festival has also grown with the interest of groups wanting to be apart,” said Watson.

Audiences can expect a variety of high performances but with a special integrated dance from wheelchair dancers.

“The promotion of disabled dancers and the integration of these performances are in a great demand in Arts to empower them and the Dance Movement has supported this concept for years and we continue to create platforms to them in the mainstream of performances,” said Watson.

He said personally the festival also helped him grow.  

“It has really helped me as an artistic director that has allowed my creative eye and mindset to grow to reach the potential of the artistic vision and continue offering appealing entertainment to our Durban audience. It’s important for audiences to see this production because it’s the most entertaining festival that offers the variety of Durban's talent that needs to be appreciated and supported.This will also contribute directly to keep the festival sustained and our artistes growing in their careers,” Watson said.

Making their debut in the production this year are Chelsea Blair Dance Company from Kloof, Kumari Shiksha Dance Institute from Phoenix and In Motion Dance Academy from Margate.

* Tickets can be purchased through Computicket or at any Shoprite Checkers. The Professional Showcase is on Friday, September 14 at 7pm and on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm and 7pm will be the Junior and Senior Showcase respectively.