FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY celebrates its 10th anniversary year with a special season of dance theatre entitled Last Thoughts at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from March 13 to 17.
“Reaching 10 years as a professional South African dance company is a huge milestone for Flatfoot Dance Company!” says Lliane Loots, founder and artistic director of Flatfoot Dance Company. “It is a testament to our city of Durban who has been our home and to the people of eThekwini who have supported us and watched us grow; and to some rather amazing local and international artists, dancers, technicians, administrators and musicians who have been part our history. It is a gracious testament to all those who have seen fit to fund the work we do. I can’t say we haven’t been poised on a knife edge many times – and will be in the future – but this is a moment for all of us to collectively honour our achievement and to say thank you in honouring the many bridges we have walked on to get here.”
“For our 10th anniversary season we wanted to do something that really celebrated our geography; our beautiful ocean facing city of Durban, to honour some really amazing artists and guests who have worked with us in the past. We return to the amazing Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre where we, 10 years ago in March 2003, hosted our first season as a professional company”.
“LAST THOUGHTS” offers the world premiere of two new dance theatre works made for the six resident Flatfoot dancers, Sifiso Khumalo, Tshediso Kabulu, Sifiso Majola, Jabu Siphika, Julia Wilson and Thobi Maphanga.
The first work on the programme is “Ngichaze/Define Me” is a poetic and lyrical work created by guest choreographer Sifiso Kweyama. “Kweyama has made numerous dance works on Flatfoot these past 10 years, works that have travelled with Flatfoot all over the world including Cameroon and Holland, and so it felt right to invite him back to make this special piece of dance theatre for our 10th anniversary”. Says Loots; Kweyama, though a Durbanite, is now working with Johannesburg based Moving Into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) and so this is also a long time celebration of Flatfoot’s working relationship and friendship with MIDM.
Kweyama’s work, “Ngichaze/Define Me”, sees the six Flatfoot dancers confront themselves in a deeply emotional work that looks into how society defines us. Kweyama’s much praised African contemporary style is fused with a lyrical poeticism that Flatfoot is often known for. Kweyama’s ability to weave together dancing stories and his reputation for being a “dancer’s choreographer” is again realised in a work that both challenges the dancers but which will also delight and enchant audiences.
The second half offers Loots’s newest dance theatre collaboration with spoken word poet Ian “Ewok” Robinson. Poetically titled “Last Thoughts” like the season itself, this work is a type of zeitgeist moment of memory, history and future for both Flatfoot but also for all those involved in the work. Alongside the six resident Flatfoot dancers, this collaboration also features two of Durban (and South Africa’s) best breakdancers, Preston “Kayzo” Kyd and Byrone “Bizzo” Tifflin, both of whom have also done numerous collaborations with Flatfoot over the past 10 years. Seamlessly fusing the BBoyz style of breaking with the lyrical flow and energy of Flatfoot’s inimitable style, Loots’s “Last Thoughts” is a type of Hip-Hop opera that takes time to honour the legacy of ambient influences like Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and most importantly a long time working relationship with “Ewok”.
Loots’s award winning style of creating layered dance theatre also sees her continue her long time collaboration also with Durban filmmaker Karen Logan, who has created soulful video installations that give “Last Thoughts” an edgy feel and look.
Referencing Ginsburg’s 1954 poem “Song” and his call to “return to the body where I was born”, Loots’s “Last Thoughts” is, finally her own unfailing belief in the dancing body as the only political truth that we can ever know. As she says, ““Last Thoughts” might seem like a rather dark title for a 10 year celebration but it echoes all sorts of recollections around personal and political rights and re-membering; and for me this is the missing governance and silent voice of our age”.
Flatfoot’s 10th anniversary season, “LAST THOUGHTS” runs from 13 to 16 March with shows at 7.30pm and on Sunday 17 March with a matinee at 3pm.Tickets cost R80 with discount for pensioners and students at R60. Opening night, 13 March, is a special gala fundraiser with champagne and birthday cake after the show. Tickets for this gala cost R150 and all money raised will go towards supporting the dance education and development work being done by Flatfoot in Umlazi, KwaMashu, Newlands East, and Tugela Mouth. Booking is through Computicket.
“Last Thoughts” is a proudly Durban celebration of the transformative power of dance, dance education and development and of Flatfoot Dance Company who have spent 10 long years creatively re-shaping their home city of Durban – not to be missed!