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FNB Dance Umbrella 2006

Press release

The FNB Dance Umbrella 2006 will be the 18th year that the festival offers choreographers an opportunity to show new contemporary works on various platforms in Johannesburg.

From February 24 to March 18, 2006, Johannesburg will be abuzz with exciting new dance programmes at The Wits Theatre Complex, Jorissen Street, Braamfontein; The Dance Factory, Newtown Precinct; Constitution Hill in Braamfontein and the new Johannesburg University Arts Centre in Auckland Park. A preview will be presented at Nelson Mandela Square on Sunday, February 19!

Programme 1 is on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at The Dance Factory from 19:30. The mixed bill programme includes a commissioned film, conceived, choreographed, produced and directed by Jeanette Ginslov called Breaking the Surface, a first for South Africa! Also appearing on this programme are Deidre Wood, Mandla Mcunu, Daniella Lacob, Pinto Ferreira, Zingi Mkefa, Constance Kau, Zoey Lapinsky, and Roslyn Wood-Morris.

On Saturday and Sunday February 25 and 26, Stepping Stones 1 and 2 is presented at The Wits Theatre from 10:00. These programmes are free of charge.

Programme 4 on Monday and Tuesday, February 27 and 28 starts at 19:30 at The Wits Theatre. This second mixed bill will include work from Anso Scrooby, Linda-Lee Mhlongo, Ignatius van Heerden, Ivan Teme, Lucky Kele, Reginald Danster, Zwelethu Sebolai, Mdu Mtshali, Lucky Ratlaghane and a commissioned work from Funeka Ramorula called I Dance What I Like.

Programme 5 is at Constitution Hill on Wednesday and Thursday March 1 and 2 at 18:00. Bok is the new live art installation from the erf [81] cultural collective; created by Cape Town based live artist Peter Van Heerden and featuring Andre Laubscher. The work investigates the ritual of conflict. Within this patriotic fight for freedom, where can we locate our true identity, as man?

Programme 6 is Madam K, a work by Swiss choreographer Nicole Seiler presented on March 1 and 2 at 19:00 in the Wits Downstairs Theatre. Madam K is a woman. She likes to make up. She likes to dress. She likes appearances and wishes to escape into the world of perfection! Madam K is presented at the FNB Dance Umbrella with assistance from Pro Helvetia the Swiss Arts Council.

Programme 7 at The Wits Amphitheatre on March 1 and 2 at 20:15 is a new work from Robyn Orlin called although I live inside….. my hair….. will always reaches towards the sun…! Featuring Sophiatou Kossoko, this work is the adventure of a white African woman's mind who is trying to collaborate with a Black French woman. This work is being presented with assistance from the French Institute of South Africa, AFAA and the French Consul.

Programme 8, is a special Gala Evening to be held on Friday, March 3, celebrating 18 years of the FNB Dance Umbrella. Hosted by First National Bank, this one-off programme will feature Talas in Conversation by Jayesperi Moopen; Gula by Vincent Mantsoe; and at midnight we aired our souls by Robyn Orlin and Brother, Brother by Boyzie Cekwana.

Programme 9 on March 4 at 19:30 and March 5 at 14:30 at the Johannesburg University Theatre Complex will host the world premiere of a new work by Vincent Mantsoe called Men-Jaro. Featuring dancers from France, Japan and South Africa, this is a collaboration with South African composer Anthony Caplan and is sure to be a highlight in this years festival.

Programme 10 is a double bill programme of new work from Moeketsi Koena. This includes Dancing Ahead Of Time and Only Exaggeration Is Truthful and can be seen at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on March 6 and 7 at 19:00.

On March 6 and 7 at 20:15 in the Wits Theatre Programme 11 features Neilsiwe Xaba who will present her Phillip Stein Grant work called They look at me, and That's all They Think. She shares the stage with a new work by Gilbert Douglas and Mathias Julius from Tumbuka Dance Company from Harare, called Nhinhi.

Programme 12 is at The Dance Factory on March 8 and 9 at 19:30. The programme includes a new work from Athena Mazarakis, 7 Solos by SA Ballet Theatre dancer Mark Goldberg and a new work from Esther Nasser. Also in this programme is Separated Soul from SA Ballet Theatre's Manfred Hain and an untitled work from Constance Kau and Gregory Maqoma.

Programme 13 features Italian Netherlands-based choreographer Emio Greco/PC with a work called Conjuncto Di Nero at the Johannesburg University Theatre Centre in Auckland Park on March 10 and 11 from 20:00. Greco and his company are appearing with assistance from the Netherlands Consul of South Africa.

Programme 14 on March 11 at 19:30 and March 12 at 14:30 is a mixed bill featuring works from Daniel Mashita, Songezo Mchilizeli, Mxolisi Ngwenya, Ellington Mazibuko, Israel Bereta, Theresa Morena, Tebogo Khumalo, Thembinkosi Puwane, Nathalie Fisher and Sibusiso Kubeka.

Programme 15, is on March 13 and 14 at 20:00 in The Wits Theatre. The programme includes Apology for a Stranger by Acty Tang; What U see Is by George Khumalo; Silhouette by Mlu Zondi and Catching the Bird by Swedish Marie Brolin-Tani which will be performed by Moving into Dance Mophatong.

Programme 16 at The Dance Factory on March 14 and 15 at 18:30 is a new work from British choreographer Adam Benjamin called Seulement Si. Working with the Remix Dance Theatre from Cape Town, Benjamin works with disabled artists and dancers.

Programme 17 is in The Wits Downstairs Theatre is on March 16 and 17 at 19:00. Sello Pesa presents a new commissioned work called Thapo which looks at comparing art with traditional rituals and how it affects our future.

Programme 18 is the final programme and will feature commissioned works from Durban-based artists Musa Hlatshwayo and Sbonakaliso Ndaba and Sifiso Kweyama from Johannesburg.

Other highlights for FNB Dance Umbrella 2006 are The Gauteng MEC Awards for Contemporary Choreography and Dance 2005, which will be presented on Saturday, March 18, before the final performance.

The FNB Dance Umbrella 2006 will also include a Young Choreographers Residency Programme which has been funded by the National Lottery Distribution Fund and the National Arts Council. This will take place at the Dance Factory from March 1-7, 2006.

The FNB Dance Umbrella 2006 has been made possible with assistance from First National Bank; National Lottery Distribution Fund; The French Institute of South Africa; Business and Arts South Africa; the National Arts Council; Pro-Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, The Netherlands Consul and the Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

Tickets for the FNB Dance Umbrella are available at the door or can be booked at Computicket and prices range from R40,00 to R60,00. Concessions/block bookings and subscription tickets are available.

For further information contact 011 482 4140/ 011 482 5179/ 011 482 5615 or e-mail

Visit for updated programme schedules.

LitNet: 08 February 2006

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