National Women’s Day turned out to be one for the books as three of Cape Town’s most prominent dance companies – Cape Town City Ballet, Jazzart and Cape Dance Company – appeared on the same stage in one performance showcasing diverse dance styles and disciplines.
Having previously seen Jazzart’s ‘Tracing Past 2 Future – Tsoha’ as part of their ‘Bhabha’ performance a month ago, it was most pleasing to see the well-known company redeem themselves to a certain extent. New costumes enhanced, rather than restricted, the dancers’ movement, while a far more groomed appearance revolutionised the whole image of the cast, which had been widely criticised after ‘Bhabha’. These small aesthetic modifications made the individual performers come across as a united collective. More choreographic alterations such as the structure of the stage, the choice of music and the formation of the dancers contributed in moving this performance into the right direction.
There is still a way to go, particularly with regards to eye focus. With all the dancers looking in different directions the result is visual chaos. And if the eye focus was more cohesive, the movements would be more striking. In addition, the choreography requires polish, and the dancers cannot be allowed to lag in time especially in ensemble choreography. Having recognized some movement motifs, the choreography however has definitely evolved. This performance looked as if it was a completely new work.
Cape Town City Ballet’s ‘Of Gods and Men’ is a sensational piece to stage. A different cast from previous performances succeeded in showcasing impressive lines and sombre emotion, though more assurance and confidence was needed from the dancers. Nonetheless, this was a captivating neoclassical performance.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Bradley Shelver’s ‘Scenes’ performed by Cape Dance Company. In particular young dancer Londiwe Khoza stole, or rather demanded, the limelight as she attacked the intricate contemporary choreography with an enticing, powerful and fierce energy that was absolutely enthralling to watch. The rapid pace of the choreography was at times in danger of splitting the audience’s attention, but overall this refreshing performance by Cape Dance Company left this rare and exciting evening on a high note.
Three’s Company , with Cape Town City Ballet, Jazzart and Cape Dance Company was performed at the Artscape Theatre on 9 August 2014.