Press Release: Cape Dance Company (CDC) presents Blue Artscape Theatre

November 11, 2014

The Cape Dance Company (CDC) presents Blue, celebrating its 20th Anniversary season at the Artscape Theatre from 27 November to 6 December 2014.


Two new works will be presented by Christopher L Huggins (USA) – Blue, an all male ballet, and In the Mirror of Her Mind, a pas de quatre. Huggins has a long-standing relationship with the CDC, having staged three of his ballets on the company since 2010, most notably the award-winning Enemy Behind The Gates and Bolero.


The season is again diverse and exciting, showcasing the versatility of the CDC dancers.  Blue is a transcendent work that is a moving exploration into maleness – their physicality and psyche, and their immediate association with the colour blue. The crisp lyrical patterns and meditative atmosphere gives way to unadorned physicality, with razor-sharp turns and sudden drops; the tranquillity of dancers silhouetted against blue light is lacerated with shafts of white light as the men break away to separate solos and groups.  Danced to music by Arvo Part, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Steve Reich, this work is full of driven, glorious dance. In the Mirror of Her Mind was originally premiered by the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2011 in New York City. Three men and one woman dance to Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, Opus 36 in which a woman reflects on the loves and losses of her lifetime.  The work is a semi-abstract exploration in which the protagonist is set on a path of realising her true nature, enriched by half-hidden implications and rich emotion.


The State In-Between choreographed by Mbulelo Ndabeni is inspired by anxiety, confusion and self-judgement that comes with the space “in-between” certainty.  Ndabeni will perform this with UK based guest artist Simone Muller, formerly of Cape Town City Ballet and previously with CDC in 2011 and 2013. Ndabeni trained at Dance for All and is now based in London as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, having toured with Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake before joining Ballet Rambert in 2007 where he was until July this year. He has worked with choreographers such as Itzik Galili, Mark Baldwin, Christopher Bruce and has choreographed for Cape Town City Ballet and the English National Ballet School, and his works have been performed at the Royal Opera House and Sadlers Wells theatres. He has taught around the world including in Japan.


Other ballets presented will be Belinda Nusser’s Fade Out.Five, a contemporary work commissioned in January this year by the company’s Thundafund New Works Campaign. Nusser, a South African resident and working as a dancer and choreographer in Sweden and other European countries, was a former member of Esther Nasser’s State Theatre Dance Company in the late nineties. Bradley Shelver’s Scenes, first presented by CDC last year, will also form part of the programme and is back by popular demand. Danced to the music of Gallasso, Bach, Von Beethoven and Riley, the work is in four parts and includes a meditative pas de deux, contrasted with lightning-fast choreography showing the technical virtuosity of the cast.  


Cara-May Marcus, a long-standing member of the CDC, has recently returned from a two-year stint with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theatre in Seattle, USA.  She will perform a self created solo that explores the text of John Koenig’s The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows that gives voice to the outer spatters of an emotional palette and where movement depicts Marcus's immediate past. Mthuthuzeli November who won the gold medal in the Cape Town and South African International Ballet Competitions in 2012 and 2014, has been commissioned by artistic director, Debbie Turner, to create a new work for the CDCII Repertory Ensemble, CDC’s youth development company that was re-launched in 2013. November’s fascination with the beautiful lettering he came across in South Korea earlier this year was the catalyst for this piece.


Blue will close with Huggins’ show-stopping Bolero that CDC premiered last year at Artscape. Set in an abstract and smoky atmosphere, the ballet is evocative and tempestuous; danced by a cast of twelve with thrilling pas de deux set to Ravel’s pulsating score.


CDC is renowned for its athletic, artistic and high octane performances. Founded in 1995 by Debbie Turner, the company is based in Westlake, Cape Town.  Wearing two hats, Turner is the Artistic Director of CDC and Director of the Cape Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) and CDCll.  Her name has become synonymous with exceptional, polished productions danced by well-trained and highly disciplined artists, many of whom are CAPA graduates. The CDC has an enviable repertoire of neo-classical and neo-contemporary works and the company performs regularly in local theatres such as Artscape and the Masque Theatre. Additionally CDC has presented seasons overseas at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and, earlier this year, the company performed by invitation at the Busan Dance Festival in South Korea. CDC’s repertoire becomes more diverse each year and this season promises yet again to have wide audience appeal.

Blue has been made possible with the support of Fruit and Veg City and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).


Performances run from Thursday 27 November until Saturday 6 December at 8pm in the Artscape Theatre, with a matinee on 6 December at 3pm.  Tickets cost from R140 to R160 with booking via Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021-4217695.


Press release provided by Allison Foat, DIVA PR.

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