UCT Dance School stages Dancing in the dark at Baxter Theatre

23 Aug 2017 - 11:30

The UCT School of Dance staged a dance work to explore notions of Black Dance on Wednesday, 16 August 2017, at the Baxter Theatre.  

The dance work, Dancing in the dark, was co-directed by Dr Gerard Samuel, UCT School of Dance former director, and Jacki Job, who joined the School as a lecturer in the beginning of the year.

The idea came from Samuel’s doctoral thesis which looks at dancing the other in a South African context, an extension of the idea that race is but one form / category of discrimination.

The piece interrogated dance from a (black) contemporary perspective, challenging stereotypes through dance and slam poetry.  

“Dance has a way of being able to ask complicated questions,” said Samuel. “The power of dance is that it has the ability to ask these questions and provide some of the answers through the body.”

Samuel and Job also introduced a question and answer slot at the end of the dance work to give the audience an opportunity to engage with the directors.  

“The post-performance chat will allow for dialogue about the experience,” said Samuel. “It’s the same as delivering a paper, afterwards you get questions and answers.”

The post-performance conversation also allowed the audience and the directors to share ideas and information as a community.

“We are theorising about post-coloniality, about dance and its ability to develop discourse in performing arts,” said Samuel.  

The dance work was part of the Concert Series offered by the SA College of Music. It comprised of 13 young performers: 11 Dance students and two from Drama.

“We used the opportunity to give Bachelor and Diploma students a live performance experience,” said Dr Gerard Samuel.

Forthcoming productions include, two public Choreographic examinations in 12, 19 & 20 September, a tour to the Southern cape with Performances at the George High School on 29 & 30 September. And the annual production “Dance UCT 2017” which will be at the Little Theatre, Hiddingh Campus, from 9 -12 November 2017. For more information contact    angie.pearson@uct.ac.za  or www.dance.uct.ac.za.