Saturday, October 6, 2012

Out and About: Baxter Theatre: 8th Baxter Dance Festival

Well it was date night with Ethan and we headed to the Baxter Theatre for the opening night of the 8th Baxter Dance Festival.  Date nights with my boys are always an event, and theatre ones are always winners and this was no exception. 
It took us about 15 photos to finally get both our heads in, we were laughing so hard because we kept chopping parts of us off.
 The Baxter Theatre is a lovely place to spend an evening.  With their restaurant, bar area where you can purchase a couple of savoury snacks, lots of interesting people milling around, its just the place to be for an evening rich in sensory experiences. 
Umnikelo "Offering"

We attending a performance showcasing the Vuyani Dance Theatre Project where they performed two pieces - Umnikelo "Offering" and MayhemUmnikelo was magnificent.  If I were to categorise the type of dancing I would say it was a mixture of a African, modern and ballet.  It was incredibly intense.  The music, the lighting, the costumes, even the fact that all the dancers had shaved heads, created a visual effect that was both moving and effective.  The backup musicians produced haunting rhythmic sounds while one of the dancers joined in with deep throaty vocals.  When they finished this part of the show they received a standing ovation for the incredible performance.  Dramatic dance at its finest.

After a brief intermission, we watched the second half Mayhem.  Ethan enjoyed this half because of the humour, however I found this to be in stark contrast to the excellent first half.  The dancers' dramatisation of those who are institutionalised was well performed but I wasn't sure whether I should laugh or get upset at the way in which these people were being presented, though very stereotypical.  It surely reflected on their ability to be versatile if not necessarily original.

Special mention needs to be made of Luyanda Sidiya who delivered a phenomenal performance which can only be expected from someone who has won titles like "Best Male Dancer" at the Dance Manyano Awards and the "Most Outstanding Dancer in Contemporary Style for Dance at the Umbrella Festival.
Also Gregory Maqoma, the founder of the Vuyani Dance Theatre Project who himself is an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, director and scriptwriter.

Showcasing dance companies and choreographers, the 8th Baxter Dance Festival is scheduled to run from the 4 - 13 October 2012.  With such a variety of shows to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice. 


  1. I love that you ave date nights with your boys and I especially love that its the theater! I don't know about your side of the world, but Texan boys sometimes resist cultural events!

    1. Oh they do here too but I think because Sean and I often go on our date nights to the theatre, they see it has something excited and something to look forward to.


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