The most prestigious award for a dancer is as the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance. Fana Tshabalala is the 2013 holder of that award. He is currently working with the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative.
Between Us is a dance work choreographed by Fana Tshabalala in 2012. It is a masculine duet looking at the ambiguity of abusive relationships – in this case a relationship between two men. Fana Tshabalala and Thulani Chauke were the performers.
The work was presented as the highlight of the opening programme of the 2013 Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival. Aimed primarily at young people at Wits University, this festival draws in new audiences, not yet skilled in the etiquette of theatre attendance, but palpably excited to be in the audience.
Certainly the work was thought provoking and relevant to both the festival and, obviously, to the times in which we live and love.
Earlier in the evening Ms Nomsa Mmope from the Gauteng Health Department spoke about the need to change as society changes, while Patron of Drama for Life, Judge Edwin Cameron, gave his personal testimony and shared the need to break down the stigma attached to HIV as a sexually transmitted disease and to give people the opportunity to talk about sex and HIV and AIDS openly and honestly.
The warm-up act was a presentation by The Studio Break-Dance Group and it went down very well with the predominantly youthful audience.
The MC was the lovely Crystal Carrington, a ‘gender illusionist’ – or as she terms it for those who can’t quite cope with ‘gender illusionist’ – ‘a cock in a frock’.
The sixth Sex Actually Festival will run from 20-31 August 2013 at the Wits University and there will be several performances across a wide variety of genres.