Cape Dance Company presents A Thousand Shepherds at Artscape


The contemporary classical Cape Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Debbie Turner, celebrates its 21st anniversary this year by presenting five performances at the Artscape Theatre from March 18 to 20.

The season, sponsored principally by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NDTLF) features the African première of Spanish/British choreographer, José Agudo’s acclaimed work, A Thousand Shepherds.

A searing exploration of humanity, A Thousand Shepherds is inspired by the concept of pilgrimage. Originally created on the company Ace Dance & Music in Birmingham in the United Kingdom to the music of Vincenzo Lamagna, the tone of the work is underpinned by the influence of a period of study in an Indian ashram, bringing to it a mystical and mysterious feel.

Agudo’s work is poignantly articulate and reflective, creating an aura of sacredness and intense spirituality. Costume design is by Kimie Nakano.

José Agudo is the Artistic Director of his own project-based dance company and rehearsal director for world-renowned, acclaimed British choreographer, Akram Khan. His multi-disciplinary pedigree started with the study of flamenco dance, which has influenced and crafted much of the rhythmical virtuosity of this work which has been on numerous companies worldwide.

The celebratory season also includes outstanding CDC works that have carved a reputation of excellence for the company. The programme features a re-staging of Christopher Huggins’ award-winning Enemy Behind the Gates, this time with a cast of 32, the largest to date and using the double volume theatre stage to showcase the lightening-fast choreography which explodes on the stage in a roller coaster ride of charged emotion delivered by breathtaking athleticism and power of the dancers.

In stark contrast, two shorter works make up the second half of the programme. The exquisitely delicate and contemplative pas de deux from Bradley Shelver’s ballet Scenes, set to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, will be danced to live accompaniment by the Czechoslovakian concert pianist, Michaela Mala-Simpson.

Christopher Huggins’ neo-classical quartet, In the Mirror of her Mind danced by a woman and three men, relives life’s joys, losses and missed and found opportunities and is set to the music of Henryk Gorecki.

Featured artists in this season include Louisa Talbot, James Bradley, Elzanne Crause, Ipeleng Merafe, Londiwe Khoza, Mbulelo Jonas, Marlin Zoutman, and an excellent supporting cast.

A Thousand Shepherds is also supported by Fruit & Veg City and Business & Arts South Africa.

The season runs at the Artscape Theatre on Friday, March 18 at 8 pm, Saturday, March 19 at 2 pm and 8 pm and on Sunday, March 20 at 2 pm and 6.30 pm. Tickets cost from R140 to R200 and can be booked via 0214217695 or Computicket. Advance booking is recommended.

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