Dance festival at Baxter

Dan Green dances in Ene Man Negn?.

The Baxter Dance Festival is back this October with 32 works by 54 choreographers over 10 days.

Junaid Jemal Sendi and Addisu Demissie Kifle, from Destino Dance Company, in Ethiopia, will open the festival with Ene Man Negn? (Who am I?), a duet about identity, choices and fate. Also on opening night is A Holding Space, a duet by London-based choreographers Russell Meliphant and Adam Benjamin that highlights the themes of trust and a dialogue between two people who share the same space and history.

The opening night programme includes a short film about the process of creating A Holding Space.

This year, some past festival favourites return with fresh compositions, including Jazzart Dance Theatre, New World Dance Theatre, Cape Dance Company, Arms & Length Dance Company, Dance for All and Darkroom Contemporary.

The festival’s main programme includes invited and commissioned works by CAN Creative’s Nathan Bartman and Ciara Baldwin. Work by recognised professional choreographers and companies will also be performed throughout.

The off-main programme features work by up-and-coming choreographers (including student work), and the fringe programme includes work by youth groups, dance schools, school groups, traditional dance groups and others.

Joining the programme this year is Mbulelo Ndabeni, who trained at Dance for All, UCT School of Dance, San Francisco Academy of Ballet, and London Studio Centre. Before moving to the UK in 2007, he worked for Cape Town City Ballet.

Since its inception in 2004 the festival has featured over 4000 dancers from more than 400 studios. “Each year, the growing number of applications reminds me of the need to support, encourage and advocate for dance in the Western Cape and surrounding areas. There is a strong local dance community in the city, province and beyond, and the Baxter Dance Festival, being the only platform of this kind, is therefore an integral part of promoting this art form,” says Nicolette Moses, the festival’s artistic director and associate producer and planning manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre.

The festival runs from Thursday October 4, its opening night, to Saturday October 13, at 8pm. The main programme runs throughout, the off-main programme runs from 5pm on Saturday October 6 and the fringe programme starts at 1pm on Saturday October 13. Book at through Webtickets or at selected Pick * Pay stores. For discounted school or group block bookings, fund-raisers or charities, contact Sharon Ward at 021 680 3962 or sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen Kearns at 021 680 3993 or carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za.

For the full programme visit www.baxter.co.za/shows/baxter-dance-festival-2018/