Celebrating legends and new talent

30 September 2016 | Story Kate-Lyn Moore. Photo Oscar O'Ryan.
Iesu Escalante and Tamryn Escalante are due to perform in the 14th annual Baxter Dance Festival that will be taking place between 6 and 15 October 2016.
Iesu Escalante and Tamryn Escalante are due to perform in the 14th annual Baxter Dance Festival that will be taking place between 6 and 15 October 2016.

The 14th annual 10-day Baxter Dance Festival kicks off on 6 October with two exciting revivals by a revolutionary pair of South African choreographers.

Throughout their careers, Alfred Hinkel and John Linden were driven by dance as a vehicle for everyone, not as the elitist form of expression it had become. They both choreographed for the Jazzart Dance Theatre, a company known for its focus on social justice and community improvement.

The festival opens with Hinkel's Bolero and Linden's Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking on 6 and 7 October at 20:00.

As an alumni of the UCT School of Dance, Hinkel is noted for his efforts in developing the art form in South Africa. His much loved Bolero is so embedded into SA dance that it is a firm fixture in school and university curricula.

The play was created in Namaqualand in 1976 and focuses on the Immorality Act of apartheid South Africa. Now, 40 years since its conception, the celebrated piece of this living legend returns to UCT's campus.

The piece is presented by Garage Dance Ensemble with guest performers Levern Botha and Ciara Barron.

Linden's Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking premiered 25 years ago. The piece, originally called Shortstorees, was performed by the Jazzart Dance Theatre. The piece caused a stir in the dance community for its unprecedented contact work, which involved women moving other women into lifts.

The piece is based on the Roger Waters' song of the same title. It uses hitchhiking as a metaphor for taking to the road and moving from one dysfunctional relationship to another before finding resolution.

Ten days of spectacular dance

The Baxter Dance Festival takes place over the course of 10 days and boasts the works of established choreographers as well as upcoming creatives and dance companies.

More than 65 pieces will be performed during this period, promising to cater to lovers of all dance genres. The line-up includes contemporary and classical dance, as well as tap and a number of traditional dances.

“It is very rewarding to receive the support and encouragement of the local dance communities in this city, province and beyond. This is evident in the number of participants each year,” says Nicolette Moses, artistic director of the Baxter Dance Festival.

Performances are divided into three programmes.

The Main programme takes place from 6 to 15 October at 20:00 and includes 30 different works by reputable directors and choreographers.

The Off Main programme takes place on Saturday, 8 October, at 17:00 and includes 17 different works by rising dance professionals (including work by students).

The Fringe programme takes place on Saturday, 15 October, at 14:00 and includes 19 pieces by youth and school groups in addition to traditional dance ensembles.

Although committed to fostering and exhibiting the best of dance in the Western Cape, the programmes also include works from Namaqualand, Namibia and Canada.

This year's commissioned piece, In C by Louise Coetzer, will be performed by Darkroom Contemporary to the music of duo Without Eyes. The piece will be on show between 10 and 15 October.

2016's programme includes a piece by celebrated choreographer Lindy Raizenberg, a lecturer in the UCT School of Dance.

Once – when I was meant to be …, which is neo-classical in style, but combined with a touch of contemporary, features three dancers from the Cape Town City Ballet alongside three from UCT's School of Dance.

A special package that includes up to seven Main programme performances is available.

Book through Computicket or at Shoprite Checkers.

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