Dancers with Down Syndrome to Perform at Sneddon Theatre
The Flatfoot Dance Company next week presents its second annual integrated dance programme featuring dancers with the Down Syndrome condition.
N’gila/I Am Here is choreographed by UKZN Drama and Performance studies lecturer Ms Lliane Loots in collaboration with eight dancers from the Flatfoot Dance Company and the fondly referred to Flatfoot Downie Dance Company at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on 20 November at 18h30.
This landmark once-off performance will feature the unique partnering of the professional Flatfoot dancers with their Downie Dance Company members. This unique dance programme is unprecedented in South Africa and is a celebration of the power of dance to shift lives and to negotiate difference and inclusivity.
Flatfoot celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and has - as one of its core values - the practice of dance (in education and in performance) as a tool towards what it calls “living democracy”. This dance programme celebrates community across the divides of race, gender and disability.
The programme began in August 2017 with the visit of Dutch choreographer Adriaan Luteijn of Introdans and his collaboration with Flatfoot. The company has continued this work in 2018 and this performance is the culmination of a year-long programme.
N’gila/I Am Here will not only move and delight audiences but will challenge the very core foundations of who we think can and should dance professionally. Four Flatfoot dancers - Sifiso Khumalo, Qhawe Ndimande, Jabu Siphika and Zinhle Nzama - partner with counterparts Karl Hebbelman, Charles Phillips, Kevin Govender and Michaela Munro in a dance explosion that is an affirmation of faith, courage and the joy of dance.
Says Loots: Creating this work has been a journey into discovering community and into discovering what it means to engage a firm and loving assertion of self and identity. ‘All nine of us in the rehearsal room have been forced to look inward and to see that space between who we think we are and who we want to be, and I have been humbled every day by what these eight dancers bring.’
As a special offering, the five Flatfoot Junior Company members will also perform Sesfikile! as the curtain-raiser at this performance. This work won critical acclaim at the 2018 JOMBA! Fringe.
The once-off performances are being offered as a fundraiser to help support the Flatfoot Down Syndrome Dance programme for 2019. A limited number of tickets are available at a cost of R80 each. To pre-book tickets contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-booked tickets can be collected at the Sneddon box office from one hour before the start of show on 20 November. No card facilities are available at the venue.
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photograph: Val Adamson