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The 24th platform for new Contemporary Dance and Choreography

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Dance Umbrella 2012, principally funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, is scheduled to run from February 17 to March 4, 2012. For fifteen days Johannesburg will be engulfed by contemporary dance which can be seen at the Market Theatre complex, Wits Theatre, The Dance Factory, the Goodman Gallery at Goethe on Main and Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The main programme opens on Friday 17 February at The Goodman Space at Arts on Main, with Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke J Van Veuren’s Uncles  & Angels. This is an interactive dance/video performance piece which looks at the annual Reed Festival that takes place in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal and how it plays a role in the lives of young girls. There will be performances on February 17, 18 and 19 at 18:00. Uncles  & Angels is presented in partnership with the Goodman Gallery.

Also opening on February 17 at the Market Theatre is Exit/Exist by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma. This work looks at the process of existing today, while reflecting on  the significance of the role the renowned chief of the Xhosa nation, Maqoma, played in the transformation of the history of this country. Performances on February 17 and 18 will start at 20:30 and on February 19 at 15:00.

Dance enthusiasts can re-discover the old down-town Johannesburg Stock Exchange with a work from Cape Town-based choreographer Jay Pather called Qaphela Caesar! This is a mixed-media work based on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the production looks at personal and political betrayal within the momentum of change. The performances are on February 18 and 19 at 18:00.

Also on February 18 and 19 from 10:00 onwards, at the Wits Theatre, Braamfontein, is Stepping Stones, featuring over 30 works each day from community groups and young choreographers. Entrance to this mixed bill is free.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21 and 22 a programme of four works will be presented at the Dance Factory from 19:00. It includes Gates of Hell by Fana Tshabalala who recently returned from a two month residency in France; uncle stans jane and john doe by Mari-Louise Basson which looks at the effects of sexual abuse on children; Imbokodo by Mdu Mtshali from Durban looks at how the ravages of AIDS has affected the lives of many and Ivan Teme presents Unknown, a curious and amusing look at communication and just how easily people can misunderstand each other!

Alfred Hinkel has created a new work called Dansmetdieduiwels which is the story of a young man from the Northern Cape who had an affinity for working with young people and how his intentions were misunderstood and ultimately caused tragedy! His assistant choreographer is John Linden. The performances are on February 21, 22 and 23 at the Market Theatre at 19:30. This programme is not for persons under the age of 16.

Robyn Orlin brings back the internationally renowned work daddy, I’ve seen this piece six times before, and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other to the Laager Theatre at the Market Theatre on February 22, 23 and 24 at 21:00. Since premiering at Dance Umbrella in 1999 this work has toured to several international platforms, and as it moves towards its swansong, Dance Umbrella proudly brings it back to South Africa.

PJ Sabbagha presents a multimedia dance piece One Night Stand which is a provocative exploration of the many ways people are “infected”; the pervasive invasion of things, thoughts and actions that infect us physically, emotionally and mentally.  This will be presented at the Wits Theatre on February 23 and 24 at 19:00. An age restriction of no under 16s applies.

The next programme is a Mixed Bill featuring works by Athena  Mazarakis (Johannesburg) and Hansel Nezza (Barcelona/Berlin) with a work called Inter.Fear They have collaborated to create an innovative theatrical experience that explores fear as ‘interference’ which mediates human encounters and relationships. The material for the work is sourced and researched across three cities: Barcelona, Berlin and Johannesburg. This work is presented in collaboration with the Goethe Institut and the Spanish Embassy Mzanzi Cultura. The second work, Cellardoor by Alan Parker, discovers and uncovers the sensation caused by beauty and the third work Canvas, by Louise Coetzer, is a collaboration with graffiti artist Imraan from Cape Town. Boyzie Cekwana will give a sneak preview of his new work a thinking out loud experiment .This programme is at the Dance Factory on February 24 and 25 at 20:00.

Mark Hawkins works with the Moving into Dance Mophatong Company on a new work entitled Dirty Laundry. He takes a humorous look at how “dirty laundry” can affect people’s lives via gossip columns: the dirtier your past secrets are, the more famous you become! This can be seen at the Market Theatre on February 25 at 15:00 and 20:00 and on February 26 at 15:00.

WHO IS THIS?…Beneath my Skin
by Desiré Davids is a multi-media work that searches for self and fights against confinement. It interrogates the unpacking of oneself and looking at who you really are. This programme is at the Dance Factory on February 27 and 28 at 20:00. This work originally premiered at JOMBA Dance Experience in Durban 2011.

A double Bill featuring work from Sifiso Kweyama and Moeketsi Koena is at the Laager theatre at the Market on February 28 and 29 at 19:00. Sifiso Kweyama reflects on how the more we change, the more we stay the same and Koena will present Just We, which looks at people who come from different cultural backgrounds and how they can break down any barriers.

Ex PACT Dance Company lead dancer Melody Putu returns to South Africa with a work he created in his new homeland, Sweden, called Faith. Performed by dancers from both South Africa and Sweden, this work is about how a young girl fights for her rights and difficult it is to adjust to change. This can be seen at the Market Theatre on February 28, 29 and March 1 at 20:30.

Young choreographer Kieron Jina will present a work called Homodryer in the Laager Theatre on February 29 and March 1 at 21:00. Jina looks at how societal pressure can cause people to hide their HIV/Aids status, resulting in disaster.

Moya Michael is a dancer/choreographer who left to study at PARTS in Brussels in the early 1990’s. She returns to South Africa with a new commissioned work called at this moment right here right now, right here right now, here now now now. With this work she reflects on belonging and how living and moving affects ones life and circumstances. This work will be presented at the Dance Factory on March 1 and 2 at 19:00. This work is presented in partnership with the Embassy of Belgium, Delegation of the Flemish Government.

Dada Masilo returns to Dance Umbrella with Death and the Maidens at the Dance Factory on March 3 at 19:00 and March 4 at 14:00.  Masilo looks at tragic heroines with this work, where she again fuses existing dance techniques and will be working with a company of woman including members of Tshwane Dance Theatre.

On March 3 at 15:00 and 20:30 and March 4 at 15:00, Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe premieres his new work Opera for Fools. This work depicts the shebeen life-style that was lived in the Johannesburg townships in the 1970s and 1980s. It takes place in the so-called “informal settlements” of Soweto, Sophiatown and Alexandra showing how the community coped with life in those days.

Dance Umbrella 2012 final programme is a solo work from Nhlanhla Mahlangu called Chant, which honours women as well as looking at how the world today does not adequately assist the human race to develop spiritually. This Goethe Institut Johannesburg funded work will be presented at Goethe on Main on March 3 and 4 at 19:00.

Dance Umbrella 2012, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, South Africa will again host a Dance Writers’ Workshop facilitated by Mary Corrigall, a senior feature writer and arts critic at The Sunday Independent, who will work with six selected participants. The intensive three-day workshop will assist them in reviewing, interviewing and writing generally about contemporary dance, with the focus on Dance Umbrella 2012. Also taking place during the festival is the Young Choreographers’ Residency programme (February 22 to March 3), funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and facilitated by Alfred Hinkel and a series of Face to Face discussions, after some performances at various venues, facilitated by Adrienne Sichel.

Dance Umbrella 2012 extends a thank you to its many partners, without whom the festival would not have been presented: The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (Principal funder); The National Arts Council; Goethe-Institut Johannesburg; Rand Merchant Bank; Embassy of Belgium Delegation of the Flemish Government, French Institute of South Africa; French Consul; Culture Dutch Flemish Diary in South Africa; BASA and Joburg. The Dance Forum also thanks Splitbeam the Theatre and Professional Rental Specialists for the technical back-up at the Dance Factory. Other technical partners include Matrix Sound, Avstage and Innovation.

Bookings for Dance Umbrella 2012 performances at the Wits Theatre, Market Theatre and the Dance Factory can be made by calling Computicket - 083 915 8000 / www.computicket.com .  Bookings for performances at the Goodman on Main at Arts on Main and the Old Johannesburg Stock Exchange can be made by calling 011 492 2033.

Ticket prices range from R30 to R100. For Block booking discounts and programme updates call 083 570 3083.

For further information please contact 011 492 0709 / 2033 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit www.artslink.co.za/arts / www.danceumbrella.co.za

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