Durban Dance Movement returns for its seventh annual Festival. Picture: Supplied

The Durban Dance Movement returns for its seventh annual Festival at the Playhouse Theatre. 

For two days only, Durbanites will experience an explosion of dance at the Durban Playhouse Theatre. 

The annual Durban Dance Festival is set to take place from July 26 to 27. 

Despite government funding being cut from the festival, the Wentworth Arts and Culture organisation, who is hanging on by a thread, host the annual event to continue showcasing the works of Durban’s artists and dancers. 

The creative programme this season will showcase hip hop, African contemporary, jazz, ballet, Bollywood, break dancing, krump, ngom and many other dance styles that celebrate the essence of the diverse cultures in Durban.  

Over 350 dancers from studios, crews, youth groups, outreach projects and dance companies based in KwaZulu-Natal will take part in the festival. 

Taking part in the festival this year are resident artists, KZN dance academy, KwaMashu School of Contemporary dance, Dance Movement and Kumari Shiksha Dance institute. Making their debut at the festival this year is Verb creative art studios and Reddam House dance ensemble. 

Audiences are in for a treat at the opening night of the professional performances which showcases two residences entitled “Unity in Diversity” choreographed by Durban based contemporary choreographer Vusi Makanya and Cape Town-based hip hop choreographer Jason Sisam. 

"Unity in Diversity" is a dance production that narrates a story through contemporary and hip hop movement about the spirit of Ubuntu and how as a nation, despite our differences working together we can do more. 

Written and directed by Jarryd Watson his vision for this dance production is to make audiences aware of social matters that speak to us daily. 

“When the idea of 'Unity in Diversity' came to mind I wanted to produce a dance production with a narrative that our audiences will identify with especially within our South African context,” said artistic director Jarryd Watson.

He said working with Makanya who choreographed the contemporary production and Sisam who choreographed the hip hop production of "Unity in Diversity" was a great experience. 

“Together we were innovative and creative and I cannot wait for this production to hit Durban shores,” said Watson. 

The dancers performing in "Unity in Diversity" were selected from an audition process where 40 dancers auditioned and 12 were selected to be a part of the residencies. 

Some of the dancers who made the cut and will feature in the production on opening night are Sherwin Green, Katherine Anderson, Thandeka Maqebula, Dylan Botes, Martinique Palmer and Tebogo Mncwabe. 

"Unity in Diversity" is on the opening night on July 26 at 7pm and July 27 at 2pm and 7pm at the Playhouse. Tickets are available through web tickets or any Pick n Pay outlet. For further information contact 082 683 9665.