Diversity of dance on Baxter stage

Dancers Muzi Shili and Oscar Buthelezi performing in Road by Oscar Buthelezi.

The 13th annual Baxter Dance Festival is giving emerging dancers a chance to shine.

The festival is on currently and runs until Saturday October 14, with a Fringe Programme on Sunday October 15.

Dancers, including several from the Eoan Group School of Performing Arts in Athlone, JazzArt Dance Theatre, have been taking to the stage with professional dance companies to perform more than 64 new pieces by 73 choreographers over eight days.

Headlining this year’s festival is the commissioned work by choreographer, dancer and teacher Themba Mbuli of the acclaimed Sold!.

Mbuli is the 2016 Standard Bank Young Award recipient and is an associate artistic manager and a co-founder of Broken Borders Arts Project.

This year individual dancers were invited to audition to be part of the commissioned work with Mbuli. Since its beginnings in 2004, more than 500 local choreographers have staged their work at the festival, which features thousands of dancers from hundreds of studios, dance schools, projects and professional companies from across the province, all presenting a range of dance styles and genres, including contemporary, classical, African, modern and Spanish.

The festival has a Main Programme – which runs throughout and includes commissioned works and work by recognised choreographers and companies – and The Fringe Programme for youth groups, dance schools, school groups, traditional dance groups and others. “The festival creates the ideal environment to experience and see work by established professionals, as well as exciting up-and-coming dance practitioners,” said Nicolette Moses, artistic director of the Baxter Dance Festival and associate producer and planning manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre.

Contact Sharon Ward at 021 680 3962 or sharon.ward@uct.ac.za for discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities. Visit www.baxter.co.za to view the full programme.