UJ's Dangerous Liaisons set to provokeUJ - University of Johannesburg
Following on the success of “Alice Who?” Uj Arts & Culture Resident Choreographer Owen Lonzar tackles an all-dance version of “Dangerous Liaisons.”
Loosely based on elements of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Lonzar has taken the basic premise of the 18th-century French novel and mixed it up with themes from the movie “CLOSER” (starring Julia Roberts and Jude Law) along with some of his own thoughts. “Instead of letter writing and ruined reputations which would have been relevant in the 18th century, I have toyed with the idea that today nothing happens in private,” he explains.
Owen has the rare ability to merge narrative with physicality,” says Ashraf Johaardien, Head of UJ Arts & Culture. “With his broad-based dance experience and choreographic knowledge, I felt strongly that a work like Dangerous Liaisons would provide the ideal teaching and learning framework in which our student dancers would be able to grow technically, which they could explore physically and respond to intellectually,” he adds. And true to form Lonzar has crafted, edited and integrated that response to the work with his own and other contemporary reworkings of the 18th-century narrative to create what promises to be an astonishingly powerful piece of provocative dance theatre.”
There are five main characters in the piece: four people caught up in the game of betrayal and revenge and one “mythical” character who is always present. The elements of innocence and its allure are depicted by male character-dancers losing their sensibilities’ around the virginal female character-dancer who is unaware of the lust she invokes. The four people are caught up in a web of deceit, with two innocents in the piece being caused the most pain. In this way Lonzar exposes the excesses of power and reveals the complexity of manipulation for sadistic pleasure.
Grace Meadows who has produced the piece comments that UJ students in the production have risen to the challenge and worked hard to achieve the level of choreography Owen has expected of them. “This work is a great more technical than “Alice Who?” says Meadows. “Given that none of the students study dance outside of the extra-mural classes we offer, the dedication and willingness of the cast to go where Owen has asked them to, is inspiring. I have no doubt audiences will be very impressed with what they will deliver on stage.”
“Dangerous Liaisons” runs at the UJ Arts Centre Theatre on the Kingsway campus at 19:30 from 18 to 27 October 2012. Book at Computicket. For group bookings and discounts please e-mail email@example.com or call 011 559 4674.
Notes for Editors:
UJ Arts & Culture is a world-class performing and visual arts facility offering a wide range of vocational and hands-on practical training programmes in various aspects of the performing arts on all four UJ campuses. The UJ Arts Centre is located on the Kingsway Campus and comprises an art gallery, a 436-seater state of the art theatre, dance studios and choir rooms. Other facilities include the intimate Experimental Theatre on the Kingsway Campus and the 150-seater Con Cowan Theatre and dance studios on the Bunting Road Campus. In addition to producing student drama, dance and musical theatre, these venues also serve as receiving houses for professional South African and international productions, concerts, exhibitions and events.
Media queries: please contact Di Sparks of Behind the Scenes Communications at 011 648 7385 / 073 208 8483 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UJ Arts & Culture
011 559 4674 / 2269
UJ Arts & Culture
UJ Arts Centre, cnr Kingsway and University Road Auckland Park Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa