Press: 2015 Baxter Dance Festival kicks off with the internationally-acclaimed Nuwe Graskoue Trappers and showcases 74 works

September 29, 2015

The 2015 Baxter Dance Festival from 8 to 17 October kicks off with the internationally-acclaimed rieldansers the Nuwe Graskoue Trappers on 8 October at 8pm and Mamela Nyamza and Neliswe Xaba’s The Last Attitude on 9 October at 8pm. There will only be one performance each by these two companies.


Following the resounding success of the 10th anniversary last year, this year’s line-up will showcase a record number of 78 works by choreographers with some 400 dancers representing dance studios, schools, companies, groups, independent dance-makers and choreographers from all over the Western Cape.


Despite limited funding the hugely popular festival is widely regarded as the premier dance platform of its kind and has become an annual ‘not-to-be-missed’ event on the local calendar for dance, movement and theatre enthusiasts. It is the perfect environment to experience and see work by established professionals, as well as exciting up-and-coming practitioners.


Furthermore, it provides emerging and established dance companies and choreographers with an opportunity to present their work, whilst striving to nurture and promote the diverse dance talent in the Western Cape.


Since its inception in 2004 the festival has left an indelible mark on the performing arts landscape. Close to 600 local choreographers have presented their work, featuring nearly 5 000 dancers from more than 500 studios, dance schools, projects and professional companies in a wide variety of dance styles and genres including contemporary, classical, African, modern and Spanish.


“We are deeply grateful to our partners and sponsors who have really helped us to make this festival possible – The Rolf-Stephan Nussbaum Foundation, Tsogo Sun, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and Distell”, says Nicolette Moses, artistic director of the Baxter Dance Festival and associate producer and planning manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre.


She continues, “The growth each year coupled with the interest, support and numbers of and from the dance community is testament to the need for such a platform. It has helped to shape the lives of aspiring dancers and choreographers, which have, in turn, impacted the local dance landscape positively. I truly hope that this will encourage other sponsors in the private or government sectors to partner us and become part of the largest dance event in our city.”


The Main Programme, which runs from 8 to 16 October at 8pm, will feature works of various lengths by established professionals and includes choreographers such as Abeedah Medell, Adele Blank, Anderson Carvalho, Belinda Nusser, Douglas Griffths, Kristina Johnstone, Cilna Katzke, Louise Coetzer, Mthuthuzeli November, Tercia Amsterdam, Bradley Shelver, Celeste Botha, Marlin Zoutman, Ebrahim Medell, Yaseen Manuel, Zoey Lapinsky, Ananda Fuchs, Byron Klassen, Gabriella Bishop, Mishkaah Medell, Mzokuthula Gasa, Sbonakliso Ndaba and Shaun Oelf.


The Off Main programme, which takes place on 10 October at 5pm, will showcase 22 different works by up-and-coming choreographers (including student choreography) while the Fringe programme on 17 October at 2pm will include 33 works by youth groups, dance studios, school groups and traditional dance groups.


There is no commissioned work this year. Previous choreographers of the commissioned work are Ebrahim Medell (2005), Marlin Zoutman (2006), collaborators Yarisha Singh and Celeste Botha (2007), Levern Botha (2008), Mamela Nyamza (2009), Carolyn Holden from La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre (2010), Grant van Ster in 2011, Ananda Fuchs in 2012 and Steven van Wyk and Thalia Laric in 2014 - there was no commissioned work in 2013. All these choreographers have continued to make their mark in the world of dance, both locally and abroad.


Booking for the 2015 Baxter Dance Festival is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or email or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email her at


The full programme may be viewed online at or on Theatre.




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