FNB Dance Umbrella Festival

The FNB Dance Umbrella Festival is an annual event which has been hosted in South Africa since back in 1989. In 2007 it will be running from 17 February to 17 March. This thrilling month-long event is a marvelous showcase of South African contemporary dance and unique choreography. This platform is made available to community and youth groups. Not only do fine South African performers enjoy the lime-light, but they are joined by foreign dance companies. Chief objectives for the Dance Umbrella’s Forum are to establish a space for new work and the development of South African contemporary dance.

The Dance Umbrella for 2007 will once again introduce commissioned works by South African as well as international choreographers. In its 19th year, the FNB Dance Umbrella offers a number of programs at venues across the city of Johannesburg including the WITS Theater Complex, Market Theater and Johannesburg University Theater. From a small 10 day event, the Dance Umbrella now enjoys international recognition. Those attending this inspirational program will enjoy seeing artists such as Sifiso E Kweyama, Gregory, Maqoma, Musa Hlatshwayo, Gary Gordon, Compagnie Linga (Switzerland) and Panaibra Gabriel (Mozambique). Look out for the following performances:

CounterCircles is a collaboration with Germany and Kenya. It is a fascinating look at life as small sections in a large clock, with individuals changing roles. From Switzerland is “emballe-moi” (translated “wrap me up”), about advertising, created by Marco Cantalupo and Katarzyna Gdaniec. Wola-Baba has been put together by Back to Hip Hop (from France) and Via Katlehong. This is a marvelous encounter between two cultures. Impro-Vise_2 tells the tale of the emotions that street children experience. It has been choreographed by Andréy Ouamba from the country of Senegal. Cleaning is an unusual dance, highlighting the fact that no matter who you are, what your background is, cleaning is a part of life. It is a special collaboration with Sifiso Kweyama of South Africa and Gilbert Douglas of Zimbabwe.

Forming part of the FNB Dance Umbrella 2007 is the fantastic Young Choreographers Residency Program. This will be held between 27 February and 11 March and is funded by the National Arts Council as well as the National Lottery Distribution Fund. Rounding off the FNB Dance Umbrella 2007 will be the Gauteng MEC Awards for Contemporary Choreography and Dance 2006. Tickets for this exciting contemporary dance festival are available through Computicket or can be bought at the door.