The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs (DCAS) and Sport solo dance programme came to a thrilling end on Friday 15 March as a group of amateur dancers took to the stage at the Artscape Theatre in a solo dance showcase.
Kaapse Dans Solo saw 15 young dancers perform original, self-composed pieces, after taking part in masterclass training sessions during February, in what was DCAS’s first ever solo dance showcase.
The programme was hosted in partnership with Dance For All and JazzArt. Raymond Dreyers, dance cultural office at DCAS, said the it could be expanded next year.
“This programme was started three years ago and this year we made it slightly bigger and longer, because the masterclasses would have been one day in the past and this time it was a week. We are thinking of expanding even more next year and going provincial,” Dreyers said.
“It’s important to note that solo dancing is not really part of any curriculum of any of the dance institutions in South Africa. It’s an important thing that has not been focussed on. The aim of this project is to equip students with that and bring that out, because it is very important to be able to perform without a group.”
The 15 young performers were selected after DCAS made contact with all of the major dance organisations in Cape Town. In February Theo Ndindwa from iKapa Dance and Zakhele Nkosi, a lecturer at the University of Cape Town and freelance trainer, hosted a masterclass where the dancers were taught about choreography, music interpretation, sound, lights and all the aspects of solo dance.
Three of the dancers will now be selected to perform at the annual Baxter Dance Festival, which usually takes place over eight days in October, with several performances in Rondebosch every day.
Since its inception in 2004, over 4000 dancers and 500 choreographers from 400 different studios, schools, companies and projects across the Western Cape have performed.