Press: Annual Baxter Dance Festival celebrates 15 years of magnificent movement

September 27, 2019

For the past 15 years, the Baxter Dance Festival has showcased some of the finest dance talents and choreographers in the Western Cape and the country. This year will be no exception as Cape Town’s premiere dance festival celebrates the milestone from 26 September to 5 October.

 

In keeping up with current trends, an exciting, newly imagined format and vision is planned to ensure a fresh and vibrant programme, jam packed with over 50 works in varying styles. They range from contemporary to hip hop, classical ballet to flamenco, African, classical Indian and Latin American dance and everything in between. There’s even belly dancing in the mix.

 

Tackling a textured mixture of personal stories; from interrogating the current state of affairs in the world and searching, probing emotional content, to self-expression through movement and dance.

 

A new four-tier line-up has been introduced to launch the Highfliers category, a platform for established and seasoned dance-makers and companies. In this way creativity, exploration and the development of new works are encouraged.

The festival kicks off with the Main Programme on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September at 8pm, followed by the Off Main on Saturday 28 September at 5pm. The Highfliers, with eight works on offer, takes place on Monday 30 September at 8pm. The rest of the Main Programme follows from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 October and the Fringe, on Saturday 5 October at 1pm, closes the 2019 annual Baxter Dance Festival.

 

Ignatius van Heerden’s solo performance of the highly acclaimed Nijinsky’s War and the collaborative work Unravelled, by Sasha Fourie Myburgh, Marlin Zoutman, Lee Sophia Piedt, Rae Classen, Natasha Rhoda and Yaseen Manual, opens the Main Programme on 26 and 27 September.

 

Nijinsky’s War, choreographed and performed by van Heerden, directed by Gopala Davies, is a solo adaptation of The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky from 1953. Winner of a 2017 Standard Bank Ovation Award and the South African Theatre Magazine’s Best Cutting-Edge Production award, the rendering piece offers a subjective view, weaving together media and dance, as it delves into Nijinsky’s life and his grappling struggle with mental illness.

In Unravelled, the six artistic collaborators explore the constant search by humans to fulfil the emptiness and void, seeking for something so ideal, yet it may not even exist. That endless longing for something better which only ends up in feelings of discontentment and a sense of being unsettled.

 

The Off Main programme on Saturday 28 September is a rich and diverse smorgasbord of dance talent and works by a dozen dynamic choreographers. They are Leroy Samuels, Christopher Sherwood-Adcock, Rory Marais featuring Gabrielle Rossouw and Keanan, Ahneesh Valodia, James Bradley, Simone Marshall-Kleinenberg, Desiree Lee Angus, Kim Pretorius, Kyle Andrew Grant, Olwethu Sotiya, Kristy Brown, Wanie Johannes, Amanda Guma and Tanzley Jooste. 

 

The new addition to the festival, Highfliers, on 30 September at 8pm, will showcase works by established artists who have already carved successful careers for themselves locally and abroad. The line-up includes Forever without end, choreographed by Celeste Botha and performed by 34/18 Youth Dance Company, Contraband choreographed by Michelle Reid and performed by Cape Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA), Say Something, Do Something, choreographed by Janine Booysens and performed by the Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies, Distance Call choreographed by Bruno Wani and performed by Dance for All South Africa Bridging Programme, Ingxolo yabafazi (Stories of women) choreographed by Sbonakaliso Ndaba and performed by Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership Academy, Oblivion choreographed by Craig Pedro and performed by Cape Town City Ballet and It’s ok, you’re ok choreographed by Marlin Zoutman and performed by New World Dance Theatre.

The Main Programme continues 1 and 2 October with Maktub by Yaseen Manuel, Perspective by Yellow Frame Films, choreographed by Shirley-Anne Bezuidenhout, blame it on the algorithm by Darkroom Contemporary and Image by Dance Theater Africa, choreographed by Tercia Amsterdam. On 3 and 4 October, the line-up features Crossroad by Fo8, Sun of a Daughter by New World Dance Company, choreographed by Marlin Zoutman and Aweh Maria by Garage.

 

There’s over 20 dance pieces, by choreographers and studios from the Western Cape on the Fringe, the final day of the festival, on Saturday 5 October at 1pm.

 

“The dance community has served the festival well over the years and we are grateful to each one of them for making the programme richer and more meaningful. I am so proud that many successful careers have been launched at the festival since its inception,” says Nicolette Moses. “We are also deeply thankful to our partners, the City of Cape Town, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), Tsogo Sun and the Lorenzo and Stella Chiappini Charitable Trust, for their unwavering support.”

 

The 2019 Baxter Dance Festival takes place at the Baxter Theatre from 26 September to 5 October. The Main Programme is nightly at 8pm, the Highfliers is on 30 September at 8pm, the Off Main Programme is on 28 September at 5pm and the Fringe Programme is on 5 October at 1pm. 

 

Book the season ticket and experience the entire programme on the festival for just R300. Ticket prices are R100 for the Main, R70 for Off Main, R40 for Fringe and R80 for the Highfliers.

 

Booking is now open at Webtickets, online at www.webtickets.co.za or at any Pick and Pay store. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, please contact Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za.

 

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