By: Arno Wagenaar
The audience was left with the dancers’ silhouettes on stage as the curtains closed on a breath-taking performance of The Dance We Dance at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre last night. DEEPLY ROOTED DANCE THEATER (USA) performed a series of works from their repertoire, some featuring Durban’s own FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY, the result of a two-week collaboration between the companies.
Performing their pieces, Prologue: Oluwa (1984), choreographed by Kevin lega Jeff, Title work: The Dance We Dance (1998,) choreographed by Gary Abbott, Resonant Untruth (1996), choreographed by Krystal Hall-Glass, Just… Miss Sadie (Heaven Solo) (1996), choreographed by Gary Abbott, In His Name (1990), choreographed by Anthony Marshall, Churches of Nations (1991), choreographed by Kevin lega Jeff, and Surrender (1997), choreographed by Kevin lega Jeff, Chicago-based DEEPLY ROOTED showed that we must acknowledge and embrace our past before we can focus on our future.
It was inspiring to see the dancers’ dedication in their performance; the way they manipulated their bodies in order to express emotion was unbelievable. The way different colors of light were incorporated into the various pieces added to the ambience and overall visual effectiveness of the pieces.
The music was also extremely interesting, with spoken word voiceover’s used in most performances, to compose statements and drive home the message of the piece, like “you don’t understand my sin”, “we all must find ourselves before we disappear” and “surrender and let go, because God made all of us”.
These two companies created an extraordinary performance, despite only working together for two weeks. The Dance We Dance reflected the journey through human experiences, emphasising it is the small things in life that matter, reinforcing the words of DEEPLY ROOTED’s Gary Abbott, “what keeps us going is our compassion to love…There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to fight your way through”.