Dancers collaborate with Downs Syndrome Society

Karl Hebbelmann with Zinhle Nzama in rehearsal. PHOTO: Val Adamson

DURBAN-BASED Flatfoot Dance Company and Adriaan Luteijn from the Netherlands-based INTRODANS Dance Company, together with four dancers with Downs Syndrome, are blazing a new trail for dance in South Africa, with their performance of Cardiac Output at this year’s 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance on Sunday, 3 September at 6pm at Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN.

The four young adult dancers with Downs Syndrome, Kevin Govender and Michaela Munro, Charles Phillips, and Karl Hebbelmann, who auditioned earlier this year, have been working regularly over the last five months with Flatfoot dancers Thobile Maphanga, Sifiso Khumalo, Zihle Nzama and Jabu Siphika, and then intensely for the last three weeks with Luteijn.

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“We have been working with the Durban Downs Syndrome Society to initially audition dancers for this work, but also in an endeavour to develop a relationship with dancers who are wanting to perform and create,” said Lliane Loots, Artistic Director of JOMBA! and the Flatfoot Dance Company.

She said this was an art project, not a therapy project, in which the dancers had made a commitment to making a profound piece of art.

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“This is a meaningful work of art that can make a difference to us all. One that challenges the societal norms of who has access to create and who does not. We are all deeply excited about the work. It has been life-changing for us all, and we look forward to seeing it performed in front of an audience on Sunday,” she said.

The medical term “cardiac output” is used for the amount of blood pumped through the heart per minute. The choreography is about matters of the human heart which can influence the cardiac output. The first version of “Cardiac Output” premiered in March last year in Amsterdam.

Tickets are available at Computicket or at the door.



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