Against the backdrop of South Africa’s arts funding crisis, KZN DanceLink celebrated the creativity, dedication and tenacity of the local dance community with its Durban Dance Awards 2012 on Tuesday night, 22 May.
Having last honoured the achievements of its stars in 2009, this year’s Durban Dance Awards was a poignant salute to the people who have struggled against all odds to keep dancing.
Presented by KZN DanceLink, with support from The National Lotteries Board, the awards took place on May 22 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the first night of the annual youth dance performance Imbumba.
“With over two and a half years to consider, the judges had a difficult time, but their decisions were made on commitment and conviction and, of course, exceptional talent,” said Maree. “We are incredibly proud of the standard of work that the Durban dance community has achieved in the last few years and of its contribution to nurturing young talent.”
“Whatever the difficulties, whatever the material sacrifices, these are people with an ethic of service, honesty and honour, whose commitment to this art-form is total and devoted,” said Maree.
Back from left, Musa Hlatshwayo, Lliane Loots, Madala Kunene, Wesley Maherry, Mandla Matsha, Lynn Maree, Val Adamson
Front from left: Julia Wilson, Lerato Lipere, Claire Craighead, Sifiso Khumalo
(* Picture by Debbie Reynolds)
The choreographer award went to Musa Hlatshwayo for Ndlovukazi, a work which the judges said broke boundaries in the use of space, and the welcoming of a community into contemporary dance theatre; and a breadth of ideas which took the audience to new corners of their minds while maintaining a flow of experience.
In the dancer category awards were made to two exceptional dance talents – Sifiso Khumalo a free mind and Lerato Lipere for a free mind and mapping nostalgia.
The Breakthrough/Newcomer Dancer award went to Julia Wilson.
Awards in the technical/behind-the-scenes category vary from year to year at the judges’ discretion. This year they chose to recognize and celebrate five special people for their contributions to the good of dance in Durban.
Technical awards went to Claire Craighead for all round support, poster design, lighting design and company management and Wesley Maherry for lighting.
Lliane Loots was presented an award for her dance writing and dance oratory, while Val Adamson received an award for her photographic services to dance.
For music services to dance, the awards went to Madala Kunene and Mandla Matsha for the addition of haunting beauty to Bhakti and mapping nostalgia
The final award of the night, the Abalolongi Award for services to dance, was given to KZN Dance Link chairman Lynn Maree.
Keynote speaker Suria Govender commended Maree for always bringing dance in KZN to the forefront. “She has always been caring of the art form both in the professional arena and for those who are students of dance and for those who are community based.”
The judges were: Samantha Daly, Ashika Gangasagar, Lynn Maree, Debbie Reynolds, Mary Ann Salvage, Caroline Smart.
Choreographer: David Gouldie (Bloodlines), Sifiso Kweyama (circle), Musa Hlatshwayo (Ndlovukazi, Dayimane), Liz Lea (a free mind), Lliane Loots (Bhakti, Skin, Bloodlines), Vusi Makanya and Sifiso Majola (Body of Knowledge), Mdu Mtshali (A Bird Without a Song).
Dancer: Sifiso Khumalo (a free mind), Lerato Lipere (a free mind, mapping nostalgia), Vusi Makanya (a range of dance works), Thobeka Quvane (Skin).
Breakthrough/Newcomer Dancer: Bonwa Mbontsi, Leagan Peffer, Julia Wilson
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