Dance Umbrella Africa recently hosted the Umbrella Dance Festival Africa 2019 – a masterful display of emotion and narrative combined into a story of movement and music.
Dancers from Indoni, Figure of 8 Collective and Jazzart Dance Academy, commanded the stage of the Artscape Theatre, captivating the audience through their art – a great introduction to the world of dance to a newcomer such as myself.
The first routine, Ingxoxo Yabafazi (Story of Women), was a dramatic and a stunning display of athleticism and group cohesion. The performers seamlessly intertwined with each other, moving in tune with the music that provided an intense mystic backdrop. Music and movement flowed slowly at first, evoking thought and introspection. The performance then picked up pace as the dancers’ energetic moves invoked cheers from the audience.
Now I’m quite a fan of goosebumps, the feeling of elation mixed with raw excitement coursing through my skin. The second routine, Limitless Self did exactly that. Different from the first routine, Limitless Self showcased a range of emotions through dance that surged into the audience as the dancers maintained control of the atmosphere of the theatre.
Choreographed by Shaun Oelf of Figure of 8, and the Jazzart Dance Academy, Limitless Self was flawless with the group of dancers working spectacularly in tandem. I have come to expect this calibre of performance as I’ve seen Figure of 8 in action before. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed. If not at times teary, I was laughing with the audience or even silent as a grave, our rapt attention in the palm of the performers’ hands.
The talent displayed at the Umbrella Dance Festival is a testament to Indoni, Figure of 8 Collective and Jazzart Dance Academy’s sheer skill of dance and passion for their art – well worth the standing ovations.