Flatfoot Dance Company

Photography by Val Adamson

Flatfoot in Action

FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY’s mission is to keep pushing the boundaries of space, place and belonging in its dance theatre and performance work, and encourages both the growth of choreographers within the company, as well as committing to artistic collaborations and partnerships where possible. Some of our recent performance work:

Busy Seeing Red

KZNSA Gallery – 2020

Jointly choreographed by Lliane Loots, Sifiso Khumalo, Jabu Siphika, 

Mthoko Mkhwanazi & Zinhle Nzama

Offering a site-responsive dance work that asks the audience to engage all the different spaces of the gallery, Flatfoot’s 7 dancers dive heart first into the inner politics of ‘seeing red’. Asking questions that are on all of our lips as South Africans, this performance negotiates the personal politics of anger. From exploring remembrances of colonial race and current gender violence, this dance theatre work offers a surprisingly gentle embodied encounter.

Ngaphesheya

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre - 2019

Choreographed by Sifiso Khumalo

Ngaphesheya (loosely translated from isiZulu to mean ‘beyond’ or ‘over there’) is a personal journey back to Khumalo’s own childhood in Cleremont growing up with the scourge of ‘necklacing’ as a political weapon. In this piece, made from a questioning and very present perspective in 2019, asks where we are going if our history (and where we come from) means nothing.

Death of a Dream

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre - 2019

Choreographed by Jabu Siphika

Jabu Siphika’s growing feminist voice as a choreographer opens up in this work. Working from the personal to the political, Siphika has created an evocative duet that looks at disintegrated personal relationships as a metaphor for disinterred political hopes and dreams. Beautifully danced by Siphika herself in partnership with Mthoko Mkhwanazi, Death of a Dream is heartbreaking in its beauty.

unsheltered

Wits Theatre (JHB) – 2019

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre - 2019

Choreographed by Lliane Loots

Loots’s award-winning dance theatre style that combines video, spoken word and dance in a ‘total theatre’ experience, finds its artistic legs in this work. unsheltered moves Loots and Flatfoot’s quest for humanity into the global domain and starts to “unbuild” the meaning of the walls that are the prevailing political agendas of many first world nations. It asks the audience to journey with the dancers into the heart of difference and what it means to embrace a hurt, damaged and vulnerable humanity

things left unsaid

Wits Theatre (JHB) – 2019

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre – 2018

Choreographed by Lliane Loots in collaboration with the dancers

This is a painful interrogation of the ‘things we leave unsaid’ – be these words and feelings of love or moments of social injustice and terror. Loots says, things left unsaid returns to what fascinates her right now, and this is quite basically an earnest plea for intimacy in spite of the violence of our world. In creating the works, Loots journeyed with the dancers into some pretty horrifying personal and political territory. In the end this is a triumph of the heart and testimony to the bigness of the South African heart.

amaVendors

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience) - 2019

Choreographer and director: Fana Tshabalala (with thanks to Mellon Foundation and the Centre for Creative arts - UKZN)

Collaborators and dancers: Jabu Siphika, Sifiso Khumalo, Zinhle Nzama, Sbonga Ndlovu, 

Ndumiso Dube, Siseko Duba, & Mthoko Mkhwanazi

This work explores the journey of women and men who wake up every day to sell in the streets to provide for themselves and the loved ones; they choose not to sit at home and hope for better without doing anything.

Ndlelanhle

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre - 2018

Choreographed by Sifiso Khumalo

Talking about the impulse for creating Ndlelanhle, Khumalo says; “growing up in Zulu culture when you leave home for a certain journey the elders would give you a special prayer or blessing. I worry that these small things have been forgotten. These blessing matter so much; they are a reminder that we, as black urban Zulu men and women, still have ancestors guiding us. I wanted to go back to these small blessings spoken to us as young adults leaving home, and to look at how these words might affect who we become”.

Sadhana

DRAMA THEATRE (Playhouse Complex) – 2017

Choreographed by Lliane Loots in collaboration with Manesh Maharaj (Kathak choreography)

Politically powerful and deeply beautiful to watch, this work is a collaboration between Loots and stalwart South African musician Madala Kunene whose unique African guitar rhythms set up the sound score of the work. The work plays on a fusion/transcultural dance language that uses the rhythms of classical Indian dance styles (specifically Kathak) overlaid on the African contemporary dancing body. The work itself has the aesthetics of a long pilgrimage that is taken by both dancer and audience as we journey into the heart of what defines us as African – as both social and spiritual beings.

Days Like These

National Arts Festival – 2016

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre – 2015

Facilitated and choreographed by Lliane Loots with input from the company

In days like these, Loots asked the then six resident FLATFOOT dancers (Sifiso Majola, Tshediso Kabulu, Sifiso Khumalo, Jabu Siphika, Julia Wilson and Zinhle Nzama) to collaborate in creating this work. In her role as facilitator, Loots asked the dancer/collaborators to delve deep into physical and spoken word storytelling, and after a two week intensive workshop process around memory gathering, Loots set out to create the choreography around what she calls “a dance theatre work that takes everyday memories and begins to celebrate the sacred of what we all might feel is the commonplace of our lives”. She goes on to say, “what has resulted is an incredibly tender and beautiful interior dancescape that – for me anyway – will poignantly remind an audience of what it means to be human; and to be an African”.