Review: Borne Frees: Stories of Hope

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Borne Frees

For the second year running New World Dance Theatre has put together a fantastic programme for Borne Frees: Stories of Hope. Celeste Botha and Marlin Zoutman have done an amazing job creating 13 short works for the young dancers of 13 schools around Cape Town as well as their New World Dance Theatre (NWDT) Training Programme. The University of Cape Town School of Dance Training Programme have also added a piece to the colourful variety of dance on display.

The quality of dancing is truly impressive considering most of the dancers don’t dance vocationally and the result is testament to the passion and hard work that has been put in by Botha and  Zoutman to ensure the high standard of the work being performed. They haven’t held back in their choreography either, challenging the dancers technically and artistically with a stylized and often complex movement vocabulary. And the dancers step up to the plate, performing with maturity and obvious enjoyment at being given the opportunity to dance on an Artscape stage.

The togetherness of the dancers is also a pleasant surprise, putting many professional companies to shame with their clean and tight moments of unison, especially in ‘We Move Lightly’ and ‘Happiness Does Not Wait.  The large group of 20+ NWDT dancers moving together in ‘Broken People’ is mesmerising as dancers move in and out of the group, adding an extra dimension by using the full depth of the stage.

This shifting of groups and patterns seems to be a theme throughout, one utilised to create flowing transitions between each piece so that the energy never stops. There are changes in pace from the visually beautiful and poignant opening, wherefantastic lighting highlights the rippling bodies of the dancers, to the high energy ‘Spirit Dance’ and frantic intensity of Sasha F Myburgh’s solo ‘Apart’.  ‘Broken Pieces’ is a stunning and engaging work that leaves you wanting more of the graceful strength and fluidity of the dancers in this simple yet intricate duet. The final piece ‘November’ – also performed by NWDT – is the perfect way to end this exciting programme with the final hypnotic sequence of arm windmills elating the audience on opening night.

Borne Frees: Stories of Hope is an inspirational production that showcases some exciting up and coming young dancers.  It deserves to be seen.

Shirley-Anne Bezuidenhout

Borne Frees: Stories of Hope runs 9 to 11 July 2015 at the Artscape Theatre, Cape Town.

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