Dance enthusiasts are in for a treat at the 30th Dance Umbrella Festival, as Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) celebrates its 40th anniversary with its latest season Embracing Gravity, a triptych programme of works that showcases the company’s journey from past to present work.
“This triple bill has components of Afrofusion techniques pioneered by MIDM founder Sylvia ‘Magogo’ Glasser and embraces new projects, such as Integrated Dance presented by MIDM’s Enable Through Dance project team. The work also showcases some of the innovations taking place at the organisation, which has received a new edge with choreography from outside the MIDM stable,” says Mark Hawkins, Artistic Director at MIDM.
The programme opens with a new work titled, art life life art art life art, a fascinating showcase choreographed by award winning independent choreographer David Gouldie in collaboration with MIDM. This piece was inspired by L’Atelier 2017, it is a collaborative, whimsical pursuit of stories we all struggle to remember exploring sadness in motion.
MIDM is also showcasing the ground breaking integrated dance work, The Call for Hope, which is choreographed through the collaborative efforts of the Enable through Dance Project and dance company members Lesego Dihemo, Otsile Masemola and Sussera Olyn. This work explores common words such as “No!” which in itself carries judgement and preconceptions for many South African’s living with disabilities. It accentuates the understanding that no matter how different we all are, we all have dreams, goals and aspirations.
Ending the programme is an excerpt from the iconic work Stone Cast Ritual, choreographed by the legendary Sylvia “Magogo” Glasser (The Mother of Afrofusion in South Africa) which she created in 1994. This work is a mesmerising ritualistic journey using stones collected from the beach to create intricate polyrhythms and call-and-response patterns of sound. The work evokes images of the sea and nature as well as traditional work movements such as grinding corn. In 1995, Sylvia Glasser received the FNB Choreographer of the Year award for this work.
The Dance Umbrella opened with Gula Matari choreographed by Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe and performed by two other bright stars in the MIDM alumni firmament who were students of Glasser viz Gregory Maqoma and Shanell Winlock.
Hawkins also expressed excitement to showcase MIDM’s work at the festival and the opportunity to celebrate a 30-year milestone with the Dance Umbrella Festival.
“MIDM and The Dance Umbrella Festival are both celebrating milestones and share a similar history of breaking boundaries by working with black dancers in South Africa when they were denied the same rights as their white counterparts. As we celebrate our 40th Anniversary we have work by the MIDM founder Sylvia ‘Magogo’ Glasser who started her life’s work training youth from disadvantaged communities and equipping them with skills which could be used to overcome poverty,” Hawkins concluded.
The programme promises to be a highlight at the Dance Umbrella 2018 on March 15 and 16 at 19:30 at the Wits Theatre.
Dance Umbrella 2018 is funded by the National Lotteries Commission. Other partners include Creative Feel Magazine; National Arts Council; the French Institut South Africa; Goethe-Institut Johannesburg; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Splitbeam; Drama for Life and Business and Arts South Africa.
Block bookings of 10 or more offer a 30% discount and school block bookings of 10 or more will get 50% discount. For block booking discounts and programme updates, please call the hotline – 076 162 3999 or e-mail email@example.com
Tickets range from R50.00 to R150.00 – book at www.webtickets.co.za