Dance Umbrella: save the last dance
Why we should care that the 30th Dance Umbrella this month may be the final one
If this, the 30th anniversary edition of Dance Umbrella, is going to be the last one, it certainly intends to go out with a seismic bang. Not only does the festival programme brim with premieres by SA’s most exciting choreographers, as well as intercontinental collaborations that pop and fizz with creativity, it also features the return of a few of our Europe-based heavy hitters — some of whom were there when this influential contemporary dance showcase was in its infancy. These veterans (some might say rock stars) include the taboo-smashing Robyn Orlin and Steven Cohen, whose performance art laced with sociopolitical and personal activism still raises eyebrows and gets knickers in a twist. Vincent Mantsoe, along with contemporaries such as Gregory Maqoma, is also seen as a pioneer in crafting a distinctively African choreographic language and identity. Over the years, important work has premiered at Dance Umbrella. Spectacular new talents have hatched and flourished. Choreographers...