What is dance?
Dictionary.com has a number of definitions for the word:
a) verb (used without object) – “to move one’s feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, esp. to the accompaniment of music.”
b) verb (used with object) – “to perform or take part in (a dance): to dance a waltz.”
c) Noun – “a successive group of rhythmical steps or bodily motions, or both, usually executed to music.”
These are only a few of the definitions one finds of the word, but I have been asking myself this very question in the past few weeks. What is dance to me? Dancing and productions and the theatre has been a part of me as far back as I can remember. I’m sure a part of me was dancing before I was walking …
My mom was an avid supporter of the arts and each time a ballet or musical was out on at Artscape (then the Nico Malan) or Baxter Theatre my mom would ensure she took her two little girls to watch and be taken into this magical world. My first memory of the theatre is sitting in the back row of the theatre (the cheap seats – but in my opinion better as you get a full view of the stage) where we watched the Sound of Music and from that moment on I was hooked. Hooked on the stage, I always wanted to be on the stage or to watch people on the stage, for me the theatre is a magical place.
While growing up I had many opportunities to be on stage, not the major stages of world, but the humble school halls, the Baxter and a number of other places that were willing to host my ballet schools annual productions. I can remember each time the excitement and enjoyment of being back stage. It is my own personal magic, the sweet, sticky smell of the hair gel, the distinct smell of the makeup, standing in line to have my hair done, gently pulling up my tights so as not to rip them and sliding into a beautiful costume, waiting in the wings as silent as a church mouse waiting for my turn on stage.
My first experience on stage was when I was in my first years of school, I was one of the youngest ballet students and we were given the parts of snowballs, with cotton wool around on wrists and ankles, a net snowball over our white leotards and puffed out cheeks giving the impression of roundness. I can hear the music and I can remember myself rolling onto the stage in absolute ecstasy, this was my time to shine! What a moment, what a memory. And all through my life I have tried to keep up with dancing in various forms and various places.
Now more 20 years later I am given the opportunity again to perform on stage. The WPDTA (Western Province Dance Teachers Association) presents the Showcase of Dance which is “a celebration of dance of all varieties, showcasing brand new choreography from top teachers and dance schools in the Western Cape”. This runs from Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13 March and tickets cost R65 a person.
This is a unique and special event as it showcases the very best that the Western Cape dance schools have to offer, you will see everything from modern to tap, ballet to hip hop and everything in between. Dancers from all ages and walks of life take part. There are two programmes (to fit everyone in), Programme A and Programme B (see times below). Each number needs to be completely unique (i.e. not yet performed), with a minimum of 10 dancers and up to 7 minutes long. Prepare yourself for some creativity and fabulous dancing.
I can’t wait to put on my false eyelashes, sparkling costume and step onto stage with those bright lights. Come and support these shows, the dance schools have been working really hard to put on a great production!
So what does dance me to me? It means happiness and fun, laughter and friendship nothing is better than the feeling of the beat of the music in your heart while your body moves. Dance is something for everyone, no matter if you have two left feet or are a prima ballerina dance makes you happy. Why not give it a try? Or let the dancers who have been working really hard bring you a little joy at the Showcase of Dance.
Wednesday 10 March: 19h30
Friday 12 March: 19h30
Saturday 13 March: 16h00
Thursday 11 March: 19h30
Friday 12 March: 16h00
Saturday 13 March: 19h30
Venue: Artscape Theatre
Tickets: Available from Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat +27 (0)21 421-7695