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Menings | Opinion > Onderhoude | Interviews > English

Dance choreographers given their 15 Mins of Fame


Steyn du Toit - 2011-06-03

In April this year the Tshwane Dance Theatre (TDT) presented a completely new season of dance titled 15 Mins of Fame, featuring works by top South African choreographers. It was so well received that it will be seen for a second season at the Market Theatre from 19 May to 6 June 2011. The artistic director of TDT, Esther Nasser, chats to Steyn du Toit about the name, the choreographers, and a special dancer to look out for.

Why the title 15 Mins of Fame – does that not perhaps suggest only a once-off moment to shine for these choreographers?

Aside from the famous Andy Warhol quote that each person would be famous for 15 minutes in their lifetime, I wanted to challenge the choreographers to make a statement of their work in 15 minutes. The best they could deliver in 15 minutes. This time frame allows the choreographers to show their mettle without becoming convoluted.

Who are some of the choreographers whose work you'll showcase?

The choreographers whose works are being staged are:

  • Thabo Rapoo (former choreographer in residence at MIDI). His work is title Silken Road and revolves around the meeting of two different styles of dance.
  • Mari-Louise Basson (former member of the TDT and commuting between France and South Africa). Her work is titled Synonyms for Seth and deals with the fear we all have within ourselves and how to overcome these inherent fears.
  • Celeste Botha. Her work is titled Here and Now and deals with that one definitive moment in one’s life that changes everything.
  • Timothy le Roux. His work is titled All the King’s Horses and deals with the breakdown of colonial rule and the impact it had on conservation and society.

Did the choreographers have a brief / general theme or did they have free reign?

The choreographers had free rein. As they had only 15 minutes I did not want to impose any restrictions on them.

The story of one of the dancers, Leigh Novis, is rather special – do you mind sharing her story with us?

Leigh suffered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and after a long battle is now free of the illness. Her dream was to dance with a professional dance company. That was when Reach for a Dream approached the Tshwane Dance Theatre and asked if we would oblige. And of course we did.

15 Mins of Fame runs at the Market Theatre from 19 May to 6 June 2011. For more information, or to book tickets, visit www.markettheatre.co.za.