Arts and culture enthusiasts across Cape Town and surrounds can expect to be awed and inspired by local and international performances and workshops at the 2nd Cape Town International Dance Festival, taking place in Cape Town, Gugulethu and Stellenbosch from 1 – 4 December 2016.
An iKapa initiative, the festival will showcase local and international talent, while providing a platform for collaboration between these dance companies, as well as the communities in which they will be performing.
“We are so excited to welcome some amazing international artists to this year’s festival,” says festival director, Theo Ndindwa. “Companies featured will include Ten Hairy Legs from the USA, the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) from Austria as well as work by choreographer Krisztina de Chatel, former Director of Dansgroep Amsterdam from the Netherlands.”
These companies will be joined by exceptional local talent from across South Africa, including Siwela Sonke from Durban, Yoatl Physical Art Company, Underground Dance Theatre and iKapa Dance Theatre from Cape Town, plus a host of others, soon to be announced.
“We were overwhelmed with the interest shown in the event and are excited by the opportunities that the participating companies will bring to audiences and aspiring South African dancers”, explains Ndindwa. “By creating a platform for dancers and choreographers to engage, the Cape Town International Dance Festival has also opened up the possibilities for international companies to hold auditions in South Africa. This is something that would not have been possible otherwise, and offers local dancers incredible opportunities.”
SEAD will host their first ever South African auditions on Sunday 4 December. (Watch this space for details!)
The festival programme includes four showcase performances at four different venues, collaborative workshops, master classes and dance lessons for adults and children. Perhaps most notable though, is the selection of venues where the festival will take place, including the SA Museum Amphitheatre in the Company Gardens, the Centre for the Book in Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, NY 147 in Gugulethu and the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch.
Unlike last year’s festival, held in a more traditional theatre setting and attracting only a small portion of the community, this year’s festival aims to truly open the arts and culture experience to people from all walks of life and all communities. As part of the First Thursdays initiative, the festival’s opening event encourages people to explore the city centre, while events in Gugulethu and Stellenbosch draw broader communities to enjoy what the festival has to offer.
With these venues, Ndindwa hopes to realise the festival’s vision of creating a space and platform, open to all, for collaboration, engagement and discussion through the arts. The spaces selected create access to a wider community and provide a family friendly environment that invites people spend more time, share the experience with others and engage with, rather than just watch the arts.
The festival is also about showcasing the rich and diverse talent we have in South Africa and being inspired by international artists while celebrating the differences that exist.
“As South African artists with unique and diverse languages and cultures, we are taking other experiences and making them our own, growing our arts”, says Ndindwa. “It’s great to share these experiences with internationals and explore the differences between our styles because it is these differences that makes the art form interesting and cutting edge. The more different we are, the better.”
The Cape Town International Dance Festival gives the South African arts communities the chance to embrace the uniquely South African style and flare, and encourages us to embrace the differences and diversity, believing in our own difference.
“It’s an exciting time in South Africa – we’re at a point where things need to change and be different, and this brings great opportunity”, adds Ndindwa.