The 1995 FNB Vita Awards for original choreography and dance in contemporary style were presented last month after the final gala performance of the 1996 FNB Vita Dance Umbrella.

All choreographers and performers in contemporary danceworks staged in the greater Johannesburg area during 1995 were eligible, including those works presented in individual choreographer's seasons, dance companies' seasons and on the 1995 Dance Umbrella.


Two special FNB Vita awards were made to individuals who, each in their own way, have taken contemporary dance in South Africa forward. They are Carly Dibakoane for his lifetime commitment to the growth and development of dance and for his generosity of spirit in encouraging and enabling his protegŠs to grow, and to Robyn Orlin for her constant innovation and enormous influence as choreographer and teacher on the face of South African contemporary dance.


A new award for the most outstanding presentation of an original contemporary dance work was given to Adele Blank and Christopher Kindo for their work, The Lark.

The award for most promising female dancer in contemporary style went to Sibongile Ngubeni and that of most promising male dancer in the same category was split between John Moabi for his performance in In This Heart and Shion Unser of the Playhouse Dance Company in Interlude.

The awards for most outstanding male and female dancers in contemporary style went to John Heitor and Denise Stephani respectively.


Boyzie Cekwana and Vincent Matsoe, who both started their choreographic careers on the Dance Umbrella in 1994, were each presented with full awards in the choreographer of the year category.

Several Pick of the Stepping Stones awards, taken from the Stepping Stones programme of the Dance Umbrella were also presented.


The top contemporary dance company, Johannesburg Dance Theatre, will present Dance Power at the BAT Centre from April 2 to 11 at 20h00 (including Good Friday and Easter Sunday).
Yolisa Linils and Harold Mothetsi in
"Our Dance, our Culture"

Ubuntu - a new contemporary/African dance piece, choreographed by Graham Davies, integrates the use of African ethnic vocal sounds and drum rhythms.

Jeanette Ginslov's Do or Die is set to music by George Crumb and uses saw-dust as well as dance theatre technique.

Love is a Killing Thing (two paths of passion) is created by Denise Stephani, 1996 FNB Vita award winner for most outstanding female dancer in contem

porary style. The work focuses on the double standards in treatment of women and is set to the music of Enigma and Sheila Chandra.

Fantasy on a Highveld Winter was choreographed by Corinna Lowry (director of JDT) to music by Peter Klatzow. African Wind was conceived by David Seperepere and worked on by the whole company using the theme of wind.


Artistic Director of the Rambert School of Dance, Ross McKim will be in Durban on April 27 to audition for dancers for the school which is based at Brunel University in London. Places for two dancers have been made possible through the British Linbury Trust Scholarship programme.

Recognised as both a teacher and a choreographer McKim is also the director of his own dance company, Moving Visions. While in Durban he will give contemporary dance classes to the Playhouse and Siwela Sonke dance companies.

The Rambert School is known for its high standards of teaching both in classical ballet and contemporary dance. South African students have included Itumelang Mokgape (Playhouse Dance Company) and Warren Human (Pact Dance Company).

Contact Playhouse Dance on 304-3631.


The Drama Studies and Entertainment Technology departments of Technikon Natal will host Dance Drama with choreography by Sharon Angove at 19h00 from April 22 to 27 at the Courtyard Theatre.

American Signs

Singers Studio

Anthea Martin


Recognising the need to promote and feature the work of new and young choreographers, the Playhouse Company's Education and Development department will host a Young Choreographers Festival from May 20 to 25 in the Playhouse Studio.

Aspirant choreographers are said to be the life-blood of the genre, "whose youthful energy, vision and skill will provide years of dance pleasure, artistic innovation and magical entertainment."

All young people studying dance within a tertiary institution are invited to enter.

Contact Gerry Samuel on 304-3631.


The Carnival Fleamarket is held every Sunday from 08h00 to 17h00 in the park next to the Workshop complex. Phone Gwen Mokoape on 764-2778.


The Playhouse Company's first season of Indian dance for the year, Natya Mala 1996, will be performed from April 19 to 28 in the Playhouse Studio and Sanlam Loft Theatres. The programme is diverse and covers both traditional and folk dance styles.

The 1996 programme is spread over a 10-day period. April 19 to 21 will feature folk and filmi dance pieces in the Studio Theatre. April 26 to 28 will highlight the aspect of classical Indian music in the Sanlam Loft Theatre.


According to the publicity "the Folk and Filmi programme will be upbeat, a mixture of joyful rural celebrations, passed down through the centuries, and modern composition, influenced by the gigantic cinema industry in India."

The work being performed has been chosen by audition on the basis of quality and suitability for the theatre.

The classical programme has also been selected by audition and features beautiful solos and duets from the Bharata Natyam and Kathak repertoires as well as work more loosely-based on the ancient classical traditions.


"Fast footwork, delicate hand and facial expression, and some sophisticated story-telling promise to make this a programme to remember."

Ticket prices are R18. For block bookings (20 or more) tickets are R8 pp. Other normal discounts for students, pensioners apply.


All who enjoy dancing, whether young or old, are invited to an evening of social dancing at the Durban College of Education on April 13 and 27 when Eddie Yeadon will play the best music for ballroom/latin/jive dancing.

The Durban College of Education is situated at the corner of Queen Mary Avenue and Nicolson Road in Umbilo. Dancing gets under way at 20h00 and entrance is R10. Bring your own refreshments. Details from 207-2424.


A special evening for senior citizens who enjoy ballroom dancing will be held at the Crusaders Club: Durban North on April 19 at 19h30. Films featuring overseas champion dancers will be screened. Entrance fee of R10 includes tea and cake. There is safe parking in the college grounds. Enquiries to Eddie Yeadon on 207-2424.


Led by Alfred Hinkel since its inception 15 months ago, Siwela Sonke is the Playhouse Company's dance training programme established to develop a second performing dance company with a distinctly South African style.

Recent auditions recruited more female members for the 13-strong company.


Well-known Cape Town choreographer Jay Pather will take over as director and teacher of Siwela Sonke in May. Jay has many academic qualifications culminating in a Master of Arts (Theatre and Dance) from New York University.

He has taught in university drama departments and taught physical theatre, dance, dance improvisation and composition in many community arts projects. In 1992/93 he was resident choreographer with Jazzart Dance Theatre. He has directed and choreographed numerous productions including Unclenching the Fist, Ahimsa/Ubuntu and Jazzart's recent Medea at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Jay has won several awards, including two Fulbright scholarships from the United States Government.


A dance congress will be held by the South Africa Society for the Advancement of Dance (SASAD) over the Easter weekend (April 1 to 4) at the Port Natal High School in Glenwood.

Highly qualified teachers will take the classes in Modern (Henri NeppŠ and Alfred Hinkel), Ballet (Dianne von Schoor) and Tap (Sandra Rosenburgh).

Lectures and movement classes on the Martha Graham technique will be conducted by Lianne Loots.

Also on offer are lectures by a physiotherapist who will focus on safety and injuries for dancers. Classes run from 08h30 to 19h00 and all are welcome.

Phone Andre (47-7715) or Liz (83-3844) or Debbie (306-2036).


Off the Track

craft market, coinciding with the popular steam train's monthly visit to Botha's Hill Station, is held on the last Sunday of the month (April 28).

Work must be original South African and goods must be approved prior to market day (foodstuffs excluded). Buskers are welcome at no charge!

Contact Shane on 765-6503 or 763-3637.