Dance Review: Doll – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With My Selfie, Or Swiping Wrong On Anti-Social Media


Bruce Dennill

Writer. Reader. Singer. Songwriter. Believer. Likes to learn.

All content by Bruce Dennill first published on pARTicipate, republished with permission.
Bruce Dennill


Dance Umbrella: Doll / Co-created by Owen Lonzar & Sylvaine Strike / Wits Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg       7

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The final performance of Dance Umbrella 2018 – and of the festival in general, certainly in its current form – was a good one. It is another examination of relationships and how an external influence (in this case, selfie culture and its extrapolated effect via dating apps that highlight only the superficial) has changed the way they form and are conducted, and it provides plenty of food for thought.

The costumes and choreography place the piece somewhere between contemporary dance and cabaret, with the sexiness of the performers part of the challenge of taking the production’s message on board (after all, it’d be easier to look beyond skin-deep beauty if it wasn’t so clearly evident). Each dancer is more or less permanently attached to a cellphone – at first in a designed, strategised way, but later in a more natural…

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