Dance Umbrella, celebrating its 25th anniversary, is part of the Joburg Arts Alive International festival that annually heralds Spring. It opens on Saturday with a work called Cover Up by Mandafounis-Mazliah-Zahry, three dancers from the William Forsythe Company in Germany.
Cover Up is a multi-media work that looks at impressions and how it affects people differently. Presented in partnership with the Goethe Institut-Johannesburg it will be at the Dance Factory on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday the Wits Theatre will rock with the evergreen, ever-popular Stepping Stones programme. Youth groups, community groups and students from all over Gauteng will display diversity as they present their work. Entrance to this day-long programme is free.
On September 3 and 4 Fana Tshabalala, the Standard Bank Young Arts Award recipient for Dance 2013, will present his commissioned work Indumba at the Dance Factory. He looks at the tradition of cleansing body and soul, within the African culture. It is presented in partnership with the National Arts Festival 2013.
Also on Tuesday at the Market Theatre, the commissioned work of the doyenne of contemporary dance, Adele Blank, called Blank Page will officially open Dance Umbrella 2013. This is a celebration of her remarkable life in dance and Blank will recapture some of the celebrated work she has created over the past 50 years. On September 5 and 6 at the Wits Downstairs Theatre, a Mixed Bill programme featuring six young choreographers, Reginald Danster, Sunnyboy Motau, Thamsanqa Majela, Liyabuya Gongo, Nthabiseng Segoe and Joni Barnard with Kieron Jina, will be presented.
Pro-Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council will present Another Chopstick Story/Swan by T42 Dance Projects choreographed by Misato Inoue and Félix Duméril at the Wits Theatre on September 6. This work, while reflecting on the opera Madame Butterfly explores the struggle of a woman coming to grips with her own identity.
I Feel Ya, a collaboration between Moving into Dance Mophatong, Zuluboy and the Cross Over Dance Company from the Netherlands, will be presented at the Market Theatre on September 7 and 8. These artists take one on an adventure into a world where no sound exists and bring Hip Hop and traditional African dance together with sign language. I Feel Ya is presented in partnership with the Fonds Podium Kunsten Netherlands.
Mamela Nyamza brings her highly praised work Okuya Phantisi Kwempumlo/The Meal at the Barney Simon Theatre on September 7. This work looks at relationships between women from different generations and races.
Our Lady of the Flowers is presented by Francisco Camacho/EIRA on September 8 at Wits Theatre. This work looks at obsession, love and dance as a movement of sensual pleasure. It is presented in partnership with the Government of Portugal and the Secretary for Culture.