The National School of the Arts flips worlds this May as they prepare to stage their annual flagship production, Dance Spectrum.
A double bill and a trio of dance organisations make up the production, which will feature an eclectic fusion of choreographic influences including pantsula, hip-hop, Chinese and Indian dance.
The show opens with Clara’s Journey, an adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Act 2, performed by learners from the National School of the Arts (NSA).
It is followed by an exciting restaging of Johannesburg Youth Ballet’s Ruby Suite, in collaboration with the NSA and Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM).
The production runs from 10-13 May in The Mandela at Joburg Theatre.
Brenda Sakellarides, creative consultant on the production, said Dance Spectrum not only reflects the different styles of dance taught at the school but also dance styles from other cultures.
“Dance Spectrum is a reflection of the power of youth dance in the city – and a showcase of the incredible dance talent that we have at the National School of the Arts,” she said.
Clara’s Journey starts with a geography classroom daydream and develops into a kaleidoscopic adventure to exotic lands where choreographic surprises await at every destination.
“Expect vibrant colours, dramatic dynamics and the excitement of a diverse dance palette where Ballet, African, pantsula, Chinese, Spanish, Contemporary and Indian dance find harmony with classical Russian ballet music.”
The piece features choreography by Haydee Baker, Laura Cameron, Gillian Bonegio, Jayd Swart and Manuel Norambuena. Guest choreographers include Eugene Mashiane (MIDM) and Jayesperi Moopen from Tribhangi Dance Theatre.
“We are thrilled to partner with not one but two organisations who have now reached their 40-year milestone anniversary,” said Haydee Baker the NSA Head of Dance.
The Ruby Suite is an exciting mix of neo-classical ballet, contemporary, flamenco and hip-hop, and features choreography by Laura Cameron, Alexandra le Maitre, Mary-Ann Mottram and Mark Hawkins.
“Partnering with both the Johannesburg Youth Ballet and Moving into Dance to re-stage Ruby Suite is also a way for the NSA to acknowledge the achievements of these two companies. It is essential to expose our young learners to other companies and choreographers. We have to ensure that our horizons are always expanding” she said.
Endorsing Baker’s point was Gary Natali, the National School of the Arts Principal, saying: “We are a school that specializes in performing and creative arts, and we have to ensure that at all times we are moving forward and raising the bar.
“We are partnering with two organisations who have contributed to the dance-scape for 40 years. It is also significant that we, as a school, with unbroken continuity, under various names, have been at the forefront of arts education for 50 years. It is an achievement of which we are enormously proud, and Dance Spectrum speaks to the endurance of our three organizations and the relevance of dance now and into the future.”
Dance Spectrum runs in The Mandela at Joburg Theatre form 10-13 May. The tickets are affordably priced at R100, and special block bookings are available at R80 per ticket.