UCT joins up with local dance group

17 August 2009 | Story by Newsroom

dancersOn the same foot: Dancers from UCT and the Eoan Group perform together in Dynamix.

Given their chalk-and-cheese histories, it's uncanny how much the UCT School of Dance and the Eoan Group, a cultural/community organisation based in nearby Athlone, had in common. Geography (since 1969 they've been a 10-minute drive apart) and personnel (a number of dancers trained or performed with both groups), for example.

And they're true contemporaries, founded within a year of each other - Eoan in 1933, the UCT School of Dance the very next year, and so both are still celebrating their 75th anniversaries.

Last week they marked the occasions by joining forces on Dynamix, a four-day season of Afro-contemporary dance at Eoan's headquarters, the Joseph Stone Theatre in Athlone. The groups did separate pieces before combining for Up the Down Stairs, choreographed by Eoan's Ebrahim Medell. The show included the works of African dance lecturer Maxwell Xolani Rani, award-winning contemporary-dance choreographer and part-time lecturer Celeste Botha, and a hip-hop burst from Cape Town's own EmileYX? of Black Noise fame.

"Many ties have previously existed between the organisations who share a rich history," said Gerard Samuel, director of the UCT School of Dance, "and it seemed fitting to revive our friendship given our shared goals."

The dancers' varied training proved to be no obstacle, and all went very well, reports Shafiek Rajap, Eoan Group director.

"Ultimately, they're all dancers wanting to achieve the same thing."

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