Dance Umbrella: One Night Stand

One Night Stand is an exquisitely crafted dance which touches on questions of morality, ethics and HIV.

There islots of peripheral “stuff” around this beautiful dance piece. Projections and props and costumes abound in a work which is multi-layered and too much to absorb all at once. The basic facet of this opus which gives it its reason for being is the magnificent choreography by P J Sabbagha beautifully executed by The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative.

The work begins with a projection of the city at night. A comedian is doing studio work. The laughter, I suppose, is meant to be infectious given that the choreographer’s statement relates to the many ways we are “infected” on a daily basis, the many viruses that invade our lives and take charge of our bodies.

As the day dawns the work progresses. The video includes what is happening on stage. I am not always sure of what is happening on stage. The choreographer has suggested we question the subtle and pervasive invasion of things, thoughts and actions that infect us physically, mentally and emotionally so the explosion of flowers, “weaves”, jackets and high heeled shoes leaves me unstressed. I simply allow myself to make my own interpretation – or just to enjoy the movement which is stunningly acrobatic and visually attractive. We are invited to enjoy the all-consuming viral invasion and infection of art and of dance. The work is clever and as the sun sets on the projection of the city leaving it in darkness I wish I could see it again so I can catch the things I missed the first time round.

I sit with the additional programme notes in my hand. It says: “Every week in South Africa we experience human tragedy far greater than any terrorist attack or war currently being fought – loss of life to AIDS. Why are we as South Africans still failing to respond, react, take action and care? We cannot allow this crisis to be assigned to an occasional news insert and a one day event annually. This essential human issue and the questions it raises need to be in our minds and hearts every minute of the day. This is about human beings first!”

One Night Stand explores risk, chance, spontaneity, power and unrepeatable interactions in both the concept and the execution of the performances.

One Night Stand is choreographed by P J Sabbagha for The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative. The performance I attended took place at the Wits Theatre on 23 February at 19:00.

Credits: The company consists of Songezo Mcilizeli, Ivan Teme, Nicholas Aphane, Thami Majela, Thabo Kobeli, Charlston van Rooyen, Tertia Coetzee, Rayan Mayne, Bonwa Mbontsi, Thapelo Kotlo and Nyandiso Dzedze. Music was by Nicholas Aphane, lighting by Thabo Pule and Matthews Phala, stage management by Johan Dieppenaar with assistance from Tumi Maloka who was also the videographer.

The Dance Umbrella, presented by the Dance Forum, is Dancing All Over Johannesburg from 17 February to 4 March 2012. It is one of the main cultural events of the year in South Africa, and is the biggest and most important contemporary dance festival in Africa. The Dance Umbrella has been made possible by The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, The National Arts Council, The Goethe Institute, The Flemish Government and Belgian Embassy, Business and Arts in South Africa, Joburg, Rand Merchant Bank, French Institute of South Africa and the French Embassy. Ticket prices range from R60-R100 with discounts for booking three or more performances and also for block bookings of ten or more.

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About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
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