Teams show off their moves at dance fest

The Figure of 8 Dance Collective, Grant van Ster and Shaun Oelf.

Two southern suburbs dance teams are part of the 15th annual Baxter Dance Festival which starts today and runs until November 2.

A trio of female flamenco dancers from a Woodstock-based flamenco dance company – Orit Laskov, 41, Kim Pretorius, 30 and Kathy-Lee Sass, 28 – will be sharing this ancient Spanish dance style at the festival.

Orit has been part of this Woodstock-based dance company for three years. It was formed by a group of dancers who was part of the La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre in Cape Town.

Orit says they dance with their bodies and their hearts to access the meanings and nuances of the old gypsy songs, struggles, joys,and life experiences.

“In so doing, we access parts of ourselves that are often not readily or easily visible unless we are ‘in’ the dance.”

The Figure of 8 Dance Collective duo from Rondebosch will perform contemporary dance at the festival.

Grant van Ster, 34 and Shaun Oelf, 33 have been performing together for 12 years.

They previously performed with the Jazzart Dance Theatre.

Grant says the chemistry with Shaun works well as their training, experience and struggles helped them grow into a professional dance partnership.

Shaun has been dancing professionally for 11 years. He
does intensive research on the dance content before going on the stage.

“I am constantly working on the body, technique and stamina, to build confidence for the big stage.”

He says it’s fun and inspiring working with Grant.

“We learn from each other, we discuss things and we feed each other creatively.”

Other dance styles in the festival include hip hop, classical ballet, African, classical Indian, Latin American and belly dancing.

Visit www.baxter.co.za to view the full programme and book your tickets through Webtickets or Pick * Pay stores.