With 65 choreographic works on this year’s line-up, the 2016 Baxter Dance Festival is poised to strike right at the pleasure centre of dance lovers, with a wide variety of genres and styles to be represented at the Baxter Theatre from October 6 to 15.
The 12th annual festival opens with two performances only, which celebrate the 40th anniversary revival of Alfred Hinkel’s classic ‘Bolero’ and John Linden’s ‘Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking’, on Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7, at 8pm. Hinkel’s ‘Bolero’ has received critical acclaim over the years and has featured dancers such as Dawn Langdon, John Linden, Jay Pather, Sifiso Kweyama, Heinrich Reisenhofer, Balu Searle, Ananda Fuchs and Sbonakaliso Ndana, to mention just a few. This latest revival will be presented by Garage Dance Ensemble, with guest performers Levern Botha and Ciara Barron.
Independent dance-makers, choreographers, dancers and teachers will descend on the Baxter during the 10 days to present a diverse and “dynamic” line-up, promising to suit all tastes, ranging in genres from contemporary, modern and classical to flamenco, tap and traditional dance forms.
One of the innovations this year is the newly introduced Special Package which allows audiences access to seven different performances on the Main Programme for R250.
The Baxter Dance Festival continues its policy of showcasing some of the best in local dance, but also includes a host of works by choreographers from other regions and countries, such as Okiep in Namaqualand (Alfred Hinkel, John Linden, Byron Klaasen); Johannesburg (Luyanda Sidiya); Canada (Josh Beamish); and Namibia (Hamish Olivier).
The Main Programme features over 30 works of various lengths, by established professionals, including choreographers such as: Abeedah Medell, Celeste Botha, Marlon Zoutman, Grant van Ster, Shaun Oelf, Kirvan Fortuin, Saskia Wicomb, Sbonakaliso Ndaba and Lindy Raizenberg.
The Off Main programme, which takes place on Saturday, October 8, at 5pm, will showcase 17 different works by up-and-coming choreographers (including student choreography) as well as works by Allison Hendricks, Bonwa Mbontsi, Ashleigh Joubert, Tegan Peacock,Ciara Baldwin and Nathan Bartman, amongst others; while the Fringe programme on Saturday, October 15 at 2pm will include 19 works by youth groups, dance studios, school groups and traditional dance groups.
Louise Coetzer’s ‘In C’ is the 2016 commissioned piece performed by Darkroom Contemporary, in collaboration with music duo Without Eyes and can be seen on the Main Programme from October 10 to 15. (There was no commissioned work in 2015.)
This year marks the first time that Cape Town City Ballet and well-known choreographer Lindy Raizenberg will be on the programme. Other highlights include a work by the late Phyllis Spira (performed by Dance For All) and Mthuthuzeli November, who recently joined Ballet Black in the UK.
Since its inception in 2004 the festival has left an indelible mark on the performing arts landscape. Just over 800 local choreographers have presented their work, featuring well over 5000 dancers from more than 500 studios, dance schools, projects and professional companies.
“The festival has helped to shape the lives of aspiring dancers and choreographers, which have, in turn, impacted the local dance landscape positively,” says Nicolette Moses, artistic director of the Baxter Dance Festival and associate producer and planning manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre.
Booking is through Computicket. The full programme can be accessed by visiting www.baxter.co.za