Dance celebrated at Baxter

Dance on film and stage celebrated at Baxter

Dance lovers can look forward to a feast of dance at the Baxter Theatre this August.

This month sees the screening of the Baxter’s inaugural Dance Film Festival, as well as the staging of the annual the Baxter Dance Festival.

The Festivals this year have an international flavour with the screening of dance films from across the world and with the internationally acclaimed dance duo, Company Chameleon, making their South African debut at the Dance Festival.

The Baxter’s Dance Film Festival runs from August 18 to 21 and the Dance Festival is staged the following week from August 25 to 29.

Held in association with Cinedans, Europe’s biggest international dance film festival, the Baxter Dance Film Festival 2010 sees the screening of several award-winning documentary feature films by top international choreographers and directors.

Festival organiser and the Baxter’s Associate Producer and Planning Manager, Nicolette Moses explained that this year the Baxter had decided to branch out from merely screening films from the Cinedans festival programme and had sourced films from further afield.

“Thanks to the British Council this year’s programme includes the critically acclaimed series of short films, The Forward Motion Collection, three programmes of British screen dance works which demonstrate the diversity of British screen dance, its inspirations and the influence it has had internationally,” she says.

According to Moses, two other must-see movies for dance and theatre aficionados are the exquisite Tanztraume (Dancing Dreams) and the emotionally charged Passion – Last Stop Kinshasa. Tanztraume follows the rehearsal process undertaken by renowned contemporary choreographer, Pina Bausch who died just over a year ago. “Tanztraume serves as a lasting tribute to Bausch’s creative genius,” says Moses. “It features Bausch’s last interview and gives one an amazing insight into her creative process.”

Passion – Last Stop Kinshasa chronicles a Belgian dance company Les ballets C de la B as they stage a physically demanding work danced to Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Kinshasa, Congo. Moses explains the film not only contains scenes of breath-taking contemporary dance, but focuses on the visceral reactions of the audience. “Ultimately the film demonstrates dance’s universal power to cross every human boundary, including language and culture,” says Moses.

Tickets are R30 and the films will be screened at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from August 18 to 20 at 19h30, and on August 21 at 14h00 and 19h30.

After taking in dance in celluloid form, dance lovers can enjoy watching some of South Africa’s finest dancers in action at the sixth Baxter Dance Festival.

Held annually the Festival gives emerging and established dance companies and choreographers a professional platform on which to present their work.

This year the renowned British contemporary dance duo, Company Chameleon will appear nightly, courtesy of the British Council. “This is a coup for the Baxter Dance Festival as not only will Company Chameleon be making their South African debut, but they will be performing a new work, Search and Find, which recently premiered in Britain,” Moses explains.

“It is also the first time that an overseas company will appear at the Festival and demonstrates that the Baxter Dance Festival is claiming its place on the international dance map,” she adds

As in the past the Baxter has commissioned a new work to be premiered at the Festival. This year the honour has been given to choreographer Carolyn Holden whose work, To Whom Shall I Leave My Voice will be performed by well-known Spanish dancers Veronica Williams and Nicole Kleinhans.

Another festival first is a site specific work choreographed by Owen Manamela and Mamela Nyamza. Danced by Manamela, the work will be performed in the Baxter foyer prior to the main evening performances.

The Festival’s Main Programme runs from August 25 to 28 and sees a different line-up of dance companies each night, with the exception of the Baxter’s commissioned work and guest artists Company Chameleon who will both be featured nightly. Tickets are R75 and performances start at 20h00. The Fringe Programme will be held on 29 August at 14h00 and tickets are R30.

For further information about both festivals visit Account:
Chris Mitchell
CPR Communications
082 497 8440
Baxter Theatre


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