LOCKDOWN has had a devastating effect on South Africa’s arts and culture sector – theatres closed, live entertainment, dance and music venues shut, and festivals cancelled. However, all of that is about to change with the creative industry slowly finding its feet again, and heralded by the forthcoming production Changing Tides, by South Africa’s beloved Jazzart Dance Theatre who will perform in front of a live audience from May 27-29, at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.
Changing Tides is directed by Dane Hurst, Jazzart’s artist in residence for 2020. Created by a multi-disciplined team, featuring artists from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng, Changing Tides weaves together three distinct stories into a single fluid, beautifully evocative narrative. The work looks at the cultural shifts and changes that are occurring globally during this time of pandemic, and focuses on celebrating resilience, togetherness, and triumph at overcoming challenges in times of struggle.
The production will lead with Hybrid, which is a 2019 collaboration between Jazzart Dance Theatre and the EOAN Group Theatre Company, created by Sifiso Kweyama and Ebrahim Medell. Kweyama is the former artistic director of Jazzart Dance Theatre and brings his considerable experience and unique flair to the work, which was originally scheduled for March 2020 but will now see the footlights later this month. Together they explore a stylistically varied, yet grounded narrative around the ongoing development of flora and fauna (including man) in this time, creating a symbiotic language and voice through dance.
Jazzart has established a reputation for strong works celebrating women and in 2021, that tradition continues. Lulu Mlangeni, the 2020 Standard Bank Young Artists award winner, has worked with Jazzart’s female students to create ISQALO, a joyous, sensitive yet powerful acknowledgement of the beauty to be found in our chain of evolution.
Rounding out this launch production, is Hurst’s own piece entitled Frontline. Hurst, originally from Gqeberha, is now based in the United Kingdom. During 2020, he worked remotely with Jazzart’s students and choreographed the work, which should have debuted in 2020. As can be expected, the work examines the people, including our youth, caught up in the chaos, whilst putting themselves on the line and often finding themselves in harm’s way at the frontline.
Tickets are available at Computicket and cost is R100 and R80 for block bookings. Performances take place at 7pm with a matinee performance on May 29 at 2.30pm.
FEATURED IMAGE: Keagan Damons, Savannah Petrus, Mihlali Gwatyu, by Lindsey Appolis