iKhaya is the latest heart pounding performance to come from Sbonakaliso Ndaba and the Indoni Dance Academy. Forming a part of the Artscape Theatre’s Women’s Month, iKhaya explores the meaning of home and the role of women therein.
Staged at the intimate Artscape Arena with the dancers surrounding the stage, as is characteristic of Ndaba’s works, you get a real sense of the support and culture of community that is propagated at the Indoni Dance Academy. In their interaction and respect for one another on stage, we witness a sense of belonging and family that is essential to the feeling of home. In this way, it is not only through the choreography that the theme is portrayed, but through the passion they exude.
Their dedication to what they do is obvious – the dancers commit to each and every movement, with the intensity maintained throughout the entire performance. Even in the more intimate moments, there is a ferocity of intent that sustains the incredible energy of the work. One of the most profound pieces is a duet exploring the internal struggles of a drinking problem.
IDA is known for their explosive physicality and perilous lifts, and iKhaya provides this in abundance. The dancers jump, dive and are thrown in tremendous feats of trust that once again reiterate the ideas of security and safety within the home they have created on stage. Many of these amazing stunts bring gasps and applause from the audience, while others risk being overshadowed by overly dramatic music. The music comprises of numerous climactic pieces which make for beautifully powerful moments when peaking simultaneously with the choreography. Yet the frequency of musical builds makes some of the lifts and unison movements predictable. But, with that being said, I must admit the talent is so exceptional that I would watch it performed to white noise or the sound of babies crying.
Ndaba is a visionary in dance and the level of work and performers coming out of her academy is very exciting for the future of dance in South Africa.
iKhaya is on at the Artscape Arena until 5 August 2017.