Cheeky Neo Burlesque at SibayaartSMart
Caroline Smart: Fusion dance from Break Thru Dance Company at Sibaya this weekend.
Break Thru Dance Company (BTDC) has garnered much acclaim since its inception and this Durban-based fusion dance troupe is strong in talent and high in energy. This was showcased to the full in BTDC’s current production Neo Burlesque which is running at the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino until the end of the weekend.
Directed by Taryn Makaab, the founder and director of Break Thru Dance Company, the production is described as a contemporary take on the classic Burlesque cabaret by fusing Hip Hop, contemporary and ballet elements with can-can kicks and break-dancing.
Burlesque essentially means a “send-up” or a joke. While Neo Burlesque doesn’t quite pull off that element, this evening’s audience responded with delight to the show.
On a stage backed by silvery or starry curtains, surrounded by fairy lights and hung with chandeliers, the programme runs smoothly with one scene morphing into the other as the dancers appear in a range of attractive costumes and many of the numbers are cheeky and provocative. Good lighting effects add to the overall visual impact of the show.
There are some good performances - from the balletic grace of Angela Smith to the contained contemporary energy of Fiona McGuirk. Cobus Wiese gave an impressive performance in Dance With Me and these three dancers performed the highlight of the show, Trapped in Love.
Bianca Vinay had my attention riveted in Distraction and the break-dance number Pulse was undeniably an audience favourite.
My main problem lies with the live vocals. While appreciating that dancers need to respond to a strong beat, the numbers in this show are invariably belted out with very little light or shade in terms of nuances of emotion. This tends to create an element of “sameness”.
In collaboration with her creative team of Kai Pretorius, Cobus Wiese and Hannah Katerere, Taryn Makaab is determined to raise the bar by creating groundbreaking performances. Generally, the quality and discipline of dance in this company is high. However, it is important to remember that if a costume is slipping, don’t pull it up unless it’s about to fall off completely. Otherwise you draw the audience’s attention to it more effectively than if you had focused a bank of spotlights on it!
Neo Burlesque runs at the iZulu Theatre, Sibaya, until June 17 at 20h00 with a matinee show on June 17. Tickets R120 available at Computicket at www.computicket.co.za or on 083 915 8000. More information at www.breakthrudancecompany.com
© Caroline Smart
031 261 6036
082 892 3959
Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, Durban KwaZulu-Natal South Africa