NOT TOO MUCH BREAK IN THE DANCE, YES?
He is creating called Soulscape, a collaboration with Netherlands dancer Rodney Kasandikromo (and a member of Renner’s Roundcorner Dance Company) and Durban’s Flatfoot Dance Company. Added to the mix are two of Durban’s finest break dancers, BBoyz’ Preston “Kayzo” Kyd and Craig “Miz” Katts.
Before that he dabbled in contemporary and ballroom dance. He goes on to describe the experimental process through which Soulscape has been created, explaining that Renner assigned the BBoyz tasks in which they had to create break dance routines which were then deconstructed and combined with some contemporary dance techniques and vice versa. The result is a truly dynamic and intriguing style, which challenges how one dance form influences the other, while still maintaining individuality and integrity.
Renner has an interesting choreographic style, and comes across as a bit of a perfectionist, as I watch him devote time to each individual performer, offering suggestions on how to improve their performance by making small adjustments. And while he focuses on one dancer, the others frantically revise and practice their own moves, which speak mounds to the professionalism and mutual respect of all the dancers involved in this project.
Whereas Renner and Flatfoot’s technique requires the performer to be light on the floor, the break dancers bang themselves violently against the floor, sounding as though they’re going to break through it, as they push themselves back up into a magnificent mid-air pose. To this, Renner replies “not too much break in the dance, yes?” with a big grin on his face.
Soulscape is structured around the use of stones, which Renner explains are ceremonial and ritualistic, reminiscent of the Zulu ‘isisivane’ ritual where people carry stones which represent memories. Another recurring motif in the piece is Renner’s use of the circle which mirrors the circular movements and patterns of break dance.
“Soulscape” has its world premiere at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September as part of a double-bill evening, with the premiere of Kenji’s “A Contre Sud” at 7:30pm. Tickets are R45 and R30 for students and pensioners. Don’t miss out!