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PRESS: Jazzart Dance’s triumphant 50th birthday finale ENCORE a tribute to talent at Artscape Theatre

Jeni Fletcher


Getting 2024 off to a rousing start, Jazzart Dance Theatre will present ENCORE on 29 February and 1 March 2024 at the Artscape Theatre, as the finale to its 50th anniversary celebrations.

ENCORE will pay homage to artists who have contributed to the history and longevity of Jazzart, including alumni who have passed through the company and continue to leave their mark in the industry as directors, performers, choreographers, and teachers. The mixed-bill programme is set to be a joyful and mesmerising performance and features an outstanding array of dance works created by award-winning artists and guest companies, who will perform alongside Jazzart’s own company of professional dancers and trainees.

The Encore celebration will feature a special headline appearance by Alfred Hinkel and John Linden’s Garage Dance Ensemble to commemorate their invaluable contribution during their tenure.  The works presented are choreographed by Byron Klassen and Marlin Zoutman. 

Returning to stage for an alumni specific dance piece, are Jazzart’s past graduates and company dancers dating from the early 90s, they include Gregg Adams, Sbonakaliso Ndaba, Lewellyn Afrika & Keenun Wales.

ENCORE will showcase works by ex-Jazzart Artistic Directors Sifiso Kweyama, Jackie Manyaapelo and alumni artists Sbonakaliso Ndaba (Sbo Ndaba Dance), Marlin Zoutman & Celeste Botha (New World Dance Theatre), Grant van Ster & Shaun Oelf (Figure Of 8 Dance Collective) and Tanzley Jooste (Baba Yaya African Performing Arts Academy).

Dane Hurst, Jazzart’s Artistic Director: “In my time leading this group of extremely talented dancers it has been such a privilege.  The footprints left by all those who have come before me, have laid the foundations for what is now an impressive contemporary dance company comparable to some of the best in the world.

“Thank you to every person who has made this year of celebration so special, most importantly, sincere gratitude to our audiences and funders – new and seasoned – who have come out to support us and who ensure that we are set for the next 50.  Bravo and congratulations to all who’ve built up and contributed to the illustrious legacy of Jazzart.”

Since its founding in 1973, Jazzart has been a creative home to, and a foundational platform for, many artists who have gone on to transform and elevate the contemporary dance landscape within South Africa and beyond.

Over the past 50 years, Jazzart has led the way in contemporary dance in South Africa, with numerous graduates going on to forge successful international careers.  Over the past 12 months, the company has played to a growing audience of dance enthusiasts who appreciate the skill, dexterity, and sheer beauty of the fluidity of their movement that dance contains to express the breadth and depth of human emotion. 

From the world premiere of Requiem in Leeds last June to its performance on home soil in October, a series of masterclasses, workshops, and other notable performances, Jazzart’s celebration of half a century has been a triumph of spirit. 

Audiences are encouraged to keep this momentum going by booking tickets to see ENCORE, the expansive, and creatively diverse programme that will conclude Jazzart’s 50th birthday celebrations.  Like all other performances from this leading dance company, it will have you spellbound and wishing you too were as lithe and agile as the performers.  It is a must to attend.

Tickets are available at Webtickets or Artscape Dial-A-Seat.

For more information you can visit Jazzart Dance Theatre’s social media platforms and website on


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