Thursday 10 July 2014

Day 5: BitterSweet Between The Lines x Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2014

I bumped in to a young lady at Pick ‘n Pay cash register whilst paying for my homeopathy knick-knacks that I will later use in making a potent preventative cold remedy.  I took one look at her face beat from here to Cairo, complete with palm leaves-esque stick-on-lashes. I thought; She is totes a ballet dancer.

I turn to her and make a statement; ‘you are so gorgeous’ she smiles gracefully and thanks me. From our short encounter I learn that she is indeed a dancer and she is dancing in two plays “BitterSweet” and “Between The Lines” presented by Cape Academy of Performing. I tell her I have a ticket booked and I shall be attending “Between The Lines” the following day.

… She sashays out of the grocery store only like a dancer can.

I mean how could I resist the two Cape Academy of Performing Arts productions; Mthuthuzeli November was pimped out by CAPA and used as a Spornosexual poster child of Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2014. Like a friend of mine once declared to me; ‘I have seen what chiseled washboard abs and defined muscles can do for a Mosadi. I also want it’. Read between the lines…

It has been said that most of the poetry and choreography in the two respective productions are written and created by the students themselves which allegedly gives the shows an authentic and genuine appeal which can be appreciated by a diverse audience.

The pieces were a mix bag of contemporary ballet, belting out some notes, streaks of drama, slam poetry, classical ballet tease, some sugar, spice and sass. Group choreographies were at times awkward and painful to watch but where they fell short the next story would be a solo or a duet; therefore salvaging the awaks vibes and creating a balance.

Naturally, November’s solos, choreographed by himself, in both ‘Between The Line’ and ‘BitterSweet’ were an absolute euphoria. As odd as it was to watch, I really enjoyed the ‘Whites & Brights’ story choreographed by Michelle Reid (BitterSweet). Inhale/Exhale (BitterSweet), a duet choreographed by Grant Van Ster was SEX on the dance floor delivered by Londiwe Khoza and Nathan Bartman – it gave me life!

It was quite refreshing to see a true representation of all body shapes despite the genre of dance being predominantly ballet. I guess it was all khumbaya CAPA sales pitch.

Nathan Bartman, Mthuthuzeli November and Londiwe Khoza; respectively and in combo were a sight of sheer brilliance on the floor. Although Novemeber’s physique cakes, cakes, cakes may look like he is one protein bar away from being muscles-bound. His movements were delivered seamlessly with precision, conviction and the lightness of an acid pink feather boa. At times his self-assurance overshadowed the delivery. At some point he would totes get in to reverie and abounded ballet-somber-poker-face look substituting it with a little bit of sass-realness-smirk like; yaaaaasss I got this!

I would pay a buck to watch the pieces again sans homestead student cast vibes.

P.S Images on this post are from ‘BitterSweet’, I didn’t photograph ‘Between The Lines’.

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