Following its highly successful Eastern Evening production last year, Durban’s innovative Rampage Dance Company returns to the Playhouse Opera stage on Friday 24 April with another big-stage show full of fun and creative dance items in The Eastern Evening 2015.
Conceptualised and presented by Rampage Dance Company Artistic Director Iqraam Rahim, The Eastern Evening (TEE) is a professional platform that brings together Durban’s professional, semi-professional and aspiring performing artists with a goal to promote dance development in KZN. It is a tailor-made process that seeks to give students the ultimate dance experience.
“Operating from a sincerely educational space, the project promises skills development, character building and an expressive outlet, all within a carefully nurtured environment and atmosphere that promotes healthy competition through a sense of achievement,” says Rahim. “Furthermore, we recognise that in order to embrace a progressive South African culture, it is imperative that we not only engage with students on the surface level, but that we also start creating a dialogue with them. To give them a space in which they can voice their opinions and speak back to their own cultural identities, is crucially important to us.”
TEE is thus a multi-faceted project that is built on the foundation of cognitive and holistic development; and targeted at breaking the future generations out of a “digital trance” and walking them step-by-step back to reality… the reality of social contact and responsibility, the reality of teamwork and achievement, the reality of culture and community, and the reality of contributing to a greater good.
The competition sees various schools both in the private and public sector work-shopped by International choreographer Kshitij Vaishnav. Being a dance practitioner for almost 20 years and working at the heart of the Bollywood industry, with many renowned Bollywood names, Vaishnav leaves no stone unturned in directing our scholars and preparing them to compete for the grand prize valued at R20 000. His success in Canada, Chicago and South Africa allows scholars a chance to be nurtured to perform in the global dance market.
Through this intense process students interact with the “who’s who” of the Durban performing arts community, and are allowed a chance to engage with them on a more personal level.
Iqraam Rahim built his reputation in the Durban art scene with his unique amalgamation of dance styles and presenting them within a framework of Bollywood. It is this artistic integrity that places Rampage Dance Company at the spear head of progressive change in the translation of dance. Iqraam believes that The Eastern Evening initiative will act as a catalyst for progressive change in the field of arts and culture in Durban.
Audiences can expect an evening of high energy, colourful and sometime comedic dance pieces punctuated with the occasional thought-provoking nuance, and promises to entertain the whole family … grandparents included!
This year, TEE places Rampage Dance Company’s first student Yuthika Nagessur (20) in the spotlight reserved for local celebrities. Yuthika, or Yuthi as she is more fondly known, follows the impressive Indian folk-inspired act by Kajal Bagwandeen in last year’s production. Yuthika has been a part of Rampage since its inception in 2008 and is no stranger to the local dance scene. She will take on an Iqraam Rahim choreographed piece, along with a squad of Durban’s most talented, reputable and multi-racial performers dedicated to pleasing the diverse Durban audiences.
Rahim will also be presenting a contemporary inspired Bollywood piece dedicated to the children of war, strongly titled “a peace of mind”. This piece will be performed by students of the Rampage Master Class.
The winners of last year’s competition, Crawford College North Coast join Rampage in a quest to take dance to rural communities. These students humbly offer their valuable matric time to spread love through dance. Vaishnav is most fond of this phase of development as it allows him to take a part of South Africa home, while at the same time feeding the knowledge of dance to communities that are most hungry for it.
The Eastern Evening will be staged in the Playhouse Opera Theatre at 19h00 on 24 April. Tickets at R120 and R150 are available at Computicket 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. For more information call 071 237 2900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org