After announcing that the Dance Umbrella will move to The SA State Theatre this year, finally there’s more clarity on what to expect.
Dance Umbrella Africa will launch under the theme Figure-ring – The State of the Dance in Africa in March. The new format is expected to embrace all genres of dance, from authentic South African pantsula to diverse classical, contemporary, and dance theatre.
The focus will be on four thematic or conceptual categories of dance works: figuring – the perplexed, figure – the particular, figured – the proficient; and figurine – the peculiar.
Mamela Nyamza, the theatre’s deputy artistic director and curator of Dance Umbrella Africa, says the festival will let both artists and the audience establish their own way of figuring out the work.
For the figurine-themed performances, artists such as Nomcebisi Moyikwa, Kieron Jina and many more will bring out the nuances of peculiar, uncomfortable and edgy works.
Regarding the figured-, the figuring- and the figure-themed performances, works of the new generation of artists who are fast becoming stars in their own right, such as Levern Botha, the raw brilliance of Oupa Sibeko, and Joel Leonard, among many others, will refreshingly overwhelm audiences.
The theatre’s artistic director, Aubrey Sekhabi, says Dance Umbrella Africa will bring diverse dance artists from across the continent and the world, with the aim to positively contribute to the globe’s shared humanity and heritage but importantly, “Dance Umbrella is a committed effort to create the home for African dance at the SA State Theatre”.
The festival will be a week-long programme, opening on March 31 and closing on April 7. More than 100 dancers will showcase works on various stages at the theatre. The full programme will be made available soon.
“Dance Umbrella Africa 2019 launch will be a space where artists, art lovers and patrons will have a chance to witness a revived dance festival, with a vein of happiness, relaxation, and indeed commitment to the future of the arts,” says Nyamza.
The new payment system at the theatre was also announced. Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize, chief executive of the South African State Theatre, is excited to welcome Webtickets as the new ticketing service provider for the theatre.
Tickets for all events and shows taking place at the State Theatre are now done through Webtickets.