Jazzart 50th anniversary festival

From top, Abigail Overmeyer, Savannah Petrus and Chesney Stanfield.

Jazzart Dance Theatre turns 50 this year and will honour the occasion with an expression of love, life and the joy of dance at its home at the Artscape theatre.

The 50 Years of Dance Celebratory Festival will showcase national and international guest companies and artists alongside Jazzart’s students and professional company of dancers.

The Jazzart Festival of Dance is a two-week mixed bill of performances from Thursday October 5.

In week 1, Jazzart’s alumni Sifiso Kweyama, Celeste Botha, Elvis Sibeko and Shaun Oelf will showcase works alongside multiple award-winning artists Vincent Mantsoe and Gregory Maqoma. They are joined by South African dance legend Sylvia Glasser and Moving into Dance which shares an historic legacy with Jazzart, being one of South Africa’s longest standing contemporary dance companies.

The programme includes short works created by graduates of Jazzart and an offering from the unique partnership between Jazzart and Unmute Dance Theatre featuring a work by Andile Vellem and Yaseen Manuel.

Week 2 of the festival will feature a collaboration between Jazzart, Cape Town Opera, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Phoenix Dance Theatre in the production of Requiem: Journeys of the Soul, which has been choreographed and directed by Jazzart’s artistic director, Dane Hurst, with music by Mozart and Neo Muyanga.

This brand-new production premiered in June this year at the Leeds Grand Theatre in collaboration with Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre and promises to be a thought-provoking and poignant expression of remembrance and rebirth in a post-pandemic society.

The new works were commissioned by Opera North (UK). Mozart’s iconic masterpiece Requiem is performed with the companion piece by Neo Muyanga’s new work entitled After Tears which has been described as an “invocation of South African rituals of mourning and remembrance – ultimately celebrating the beauty of life – colourful, joyous, uplifting: food for the soul.”

The programme:

Opening night, Thursday October 5:

I Am African by Sifiso Kweyama

Injongo by Dane Hurst featuring Zimbini Makwetu

Listen To My Hands by Andile Vellem and Yaseen Manual

Hatha by Elvis Sibeko featuring Zimbini Makwetu

Limitless Self by Shaun Oelf

Colours of Africa by Gregory Maqoma

Friday October 6 and Saturday October 7:

Listen To My Hands (Extract) by Andile Vellem and Yaseen Manual

Limitless Self by Shaun Oelf

Memory Y by Vincent Mantose

Baobab by Sylvia Glasser

I Am African by Sifiso Kweyama

Colours of Africa by Gregory Maqoma (Finale)

Thursday October 12 to Saturday October 14:

Requiem by Dane Hurst

After Tears by Dane Hurst

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