Rampage Dance Company’s ‘NAACH’ celebrates different genres of dance at Durban’s Playhouse

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Performing in ‘NAACH – The Nature of Dance’ at the Playhouse are (from left) Mahika Cherry, Shivani Singh and Priyal Bhagwandass. Photo: Joanna Tang, Colourise

THE Rampage Dance Company returns to the Playhouse Theatre in Durban at 7.30 pm on Friday, August 4 with a new season of dance. NAACH – The Nature of Dance focuses on the different generations of dance in celebration of Women’s Day. 

“Women of all walks of life united in a march to the Union Buildings speaking in one voice: I was inspired by this,” says Iqraam Rahim, Rampage Dance Company’s director, who is known for his unique style of mixing music, movement and momentum.

“Dance is a language. NAACH – The Nature of Dance presents dance work that in its very essence gives voice to many dance styles.

“The value of this production is seen not only the combination of various dance styles it profiles, but also that it highlights the value of collaboration, marrying the dance ethos of today with long established schools of dance.”

Anisha Maharaj (52), a student of Vasugi Singh (the artistic director of KZN Dance Theatre, steps onto the stage after being retired from dance performance for just over 12 years; and Kajal Misra (48), a seasoned Bharatanatyam performer, is coming out of retirement to collaborate with Rahim.

She will be performing a piece outside of her dance expertise, as Rahim has choreographed a very vintage, jazzy number to the remake of the old time hit, Aaiye Meherabaan.

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Performing in ‘NAACH – The Nature of Dance’ at the Playhouse are Shreya Nathwani (left) and Iqraam Rahim. Photo: Joanna Tang, Colourise

Rahim was also inspired by the story of cancer survivor, Shivani Singh, who found her strength in dance. Singh (38), a Kathak graduate, was excited at the prospect of working with the Durban dance guru and finds herself at the heart of Oruyagum, a piece that speaks to strength, determination, victory and celebration.

Heena Valabh, a classically trained dancer and medical student, is debuting as a choreographer with an Afro-western-Kathak inspired dance work that is indicative of her proud heritage as a South African Indian. Fusing Indian classical beats with nuances of hip hop and pop culture steers audiences into a world of dance uncharted by local choreographers.

Sandipa Sukhnandan and Tarika Nagessur, students of medicine and commerce respectively, complete a line-up of artists that speak to proud heritage of female performers locally.

“Last season, Rampage Dance Company united dance schools in the celebration of dance,” says Rahim. “This season we bring the mentors of the local dance theatre together in celebration of Women’s Day, giving voice not only to the celebration of dance but also speaking out to those bad practices adopted by Dance practitioners as we all scrabbled to find a space in the evolving dance environment locally.

“As a production, NAACH – the Nature of Dance highlights the benefit of dance development, whether it be emotional, physical, spiritual or political.

“The project seeks to reach out with a helping hand to dance schools and institutes who have found themselves left behind in the progressive dance movement because of a lack of resources. Collaboration is definitely the key to produce more dance works and ultimately a better standard of dance locally.”

Tickets for this one-night only show are R150 at Computicket.

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