Graceful, pulsating dance moves emphasising intense emotions were the order of the night at the spectacular dance performance between DUT Drama and Production Stud students and the José Limon Dance Company (USA), at the Courtyard Theatre on Tuesday, 31 May 2016.
The collaboration forms part of the DanceMotion USA tour to South Africa in conjunction with the United States Consulate in Durban.
DanceMotion USA is a programme of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State produced by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to facilitate cultural exchange while showcasing the best in contemporary American dance abroad.
DanceMotion USA sends American dance companies overseas to interact with audiences and communities through dance workshops, lectures and public performances. The José Limon Dance Company is based in New York and consists of eight dancers and three directors who were on a tour of Africa visiting Zambia, Madagascar and South Africa.
The dance company was founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey and is now under the helm of Carla Maxwell. The company’s collaboration with DUT’s performing arts students showcases a programme of individual and joint dance pieces that allowed the different dancers to work together and find an ‘artistic voice’ in the form of dance.
Dr Rene Smith, DUT Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design was inspired by the dance pieces put together. “It was thought inspiring. I loved the piece entitled ‘Suite From There is a Time’. The theme used was a large circle which was so meaningful and by just having such a collaboration it has enhanced the talent of our students who moved so gracefully and it also brought together a juxtapose of soft and hard elements of dance,” she said.
DUT’s talented former dance students Nqubeko Ngema and Njabulo Zungu who are now freelance dancers had the crowds mesmerised with their high-energy dance piece called The Gifted. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to having more dance collaborations such as these.
José Limon Dance Company’s artistic director, Carla Maxwell, said the DUT dancers have passion and dance in their blood and there was an abundance of talent and hopes to come back to perform in our country.
In line with the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the talented José Limon Dance Company (USA ) dancers will be doing a presentation with the iCare programme before heading back to New York.
– Waheeda Peters
Pictured: DUT’s performing arts students and the José Limon Dance Company (USA) dancers at the DUT Courtyard Theatre. Also pictured is Dr Rene Smith with Nqubeko Ngema and Njabulo Zungu.