Dynamic dance at the Baxter this July

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Figure of 8 Dance Collective, in association with the Baxter Theatre Centre, presents Wag I Waiting in July 2019.

Gabriela Dirkse, Grant van Ster, Shaun Oelf and Dustin Jannetjies. Photo by Ruth Smith.
Gabriela Dirkse, Grant van Ster, Shaun Oelf and Dustin Jannetjies. Photo by Ruth Smith.

The award-winning dance and choreography duo Grant van Ster and Shaun Oelf from Figure of 8 Dance Collective will present their brand-new work Wag I Waiting at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio for a short season from 10 to 13 July at 20:15 nightly, with matinees on 11 July at 12:00 and 13 July at 15:00.

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Figure of 8 Dance Collective, established in 2014, is the combined vision of artists van Ster and Oelf. The Cape Town-based dance company has fast become respected for its work on the local and international dance scenes.

Shaun Oelf. Photo by Ruth Smith.
Shaun Oelf. Photo by Ruth Smith.

With this latest dance production, the company explores the concept of waiting and begs the questions, how long should one wait? what are we waiting for? and what happens with time as we wait?

“Each and every one of us are confronted by the various stages of waiting at some point in our lives,” explains Grant. “Different people handle situations differently and respond differently. In today’s fast-paced and highly charged world, waiting also teaches us patience and in some cases tolerance. However, waiting can often lead to stress, a cartwheel of emotions and exhausting situations that we bring upon ourselves. If we stood still for a moment, waiting, we could also find joy.”

Grant van Ster. Photo by Ruth Smith.
Grant van Ster. Photo by Ruth Smith.

In recent years Van Ster has been responsible for the choreography of hit productions such as Marc Lottering’s Aunty Merle, the Musical, Alistair Izobell’s Remembering the Lux and David Kramer’s Langarm, as well as being the resident choreographer on West Side Story. Oelf performed as dancer Marthinus Basson’s MISA, Lara Foot’s Fishers of Hope, Nadia Davids’ What Remains and West Side Story, amongst many other productions, as well as being the choreographer on the musical Calling Us Home.

Figure of 8 Dance Collective highlights include Infecting the City Public Arts Festival, Afrovibes in Amsterdam, Cape Town Fringe Festival, Vrygrond Festival and US Woordfees. They were part of Baxter Theatre Centre and Scenkonst Sörmland, Sweden’s hugely successful collaborations I Hit the Ground Running in 2013, Struck Silent in 2014 and Adagio For A Hacked Life in 2016. The have also been part of the Baxter’s annual Dance Festival and the award-winning Fishers of Hope with Oelf as a cast member and Van Ster as choreographer.

The Cape Times described their previous work as “Performed with incredible tenderness and dexterity … this is another brave, boundary-pushing work by their Figure of Eight Dance Collective,” and Litnet called it “A phenomenal production by phenomenal artists.” Debbie Hathway for Bizcommunity said, “Grant and Shaun’s connection is the kind that makes dance partnerships famous. Their performance magnetism goes deeper than pure technical ability.”

This exciting new season will showcase theirs and other young talents and further expand the company’s repertoire, which they have managed to build up in a short space of time.

Gabriela Dirkse, Grant van Ster, Shaun Oelf and Dustin Jannetjies. Photo by Ruth Smith.
Gabriela Dirkse, Grant van Ster, Shaun Oelf and Dustin Jannetjies. Photo by Ruth Smith.

Joining Grant and Shaun on stage for this production are two of SA’s hottest emerging dance talents, Dustin Jannetjies (Keeper of the Kumm, Mooi genoeg om Engels te praat) and Gabriela Dirkse (Misa, Limitless Self).

Dustin is based in Okiep in the Namaqualand; he will be making a guest appearance made possible by the kind permission of Dance Garage Ensemble headed by dance legends John Linden and Alfred Hinkel. Gabriela comes from Vredenburg and she is a company dancer for Jazzart Dance Theatre.

Lighting design is by Benever Arendse, set design by Carin Bester and the production manager is Marie Vogts.

Booking is through Webtickets, online at www.webtickets.co.za or at any Pick and Pay store. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962, e-mail sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993, e-mail carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za or Marie Vogts on 071 9652 870, e-mail fo8dance@gmail.com.

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