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Riel dancers to kick off Baxter Dance Festival

1 Oct 2015 - 16:00

The 2015 Baxter Dance Festival kicks off with the internationally-acclaimed Nuwe Graskoue Trappers and showcases 74 works on the programme this October

The Nuwe Graskoue Trappers come from the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. (Photos supplied.)The Nuwe Graskoue Trappers come from the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. (Photos supplied.)

The 2015 Baxter Dance Festival holds a host of exciting surprises this year along with a record number of works.

Despite limited funding, this hugely popular festival is widely regarded as the premier dance platform of its kind and is a popular fixture on the local calendar for dance, movement and theatre enthusiasts.

This year’s festival, from 8 to 17 October 2015, kicks off with an acclaimed group of riel dancers, the Nuwe Graskoue Trappers from Wupperthal in the Cederberg, on 8 October. Riel dancing is one of South Africa’s oldest dance forms and has been undergoing a recent resurgence in popularity up the West Coast, in Namaqualand and the Kalahari.

The Nuwe Graskoue Trappers recently  competed at the annual International Performing Arts Championships in Long Beach, California, where they walked away with several gold medals, including winning the open dance category.

Following the resounding success of the 10th anniversary last year, this year’s festival line-up showcases a record 78 works with some 400 dancers representing dance studios, schools, companies, groups, independent dancemakers and choreographers from all over the Western Cape.

Since its inception in 2004, the festival has seen close to 600 local choreographers present their work and featured nearly 5 000 dancers from more than 500 studios, dance schools, projects and professional companies in a wide variety of dance styles and genres including contemporary, classical, African, modern and Spanish.

“We are deeply grateful to our partners and sponsors who have really helped us to make this festival possible,” said Nicolette Moses, artistic director of the Baxter Dance Festival and associate producer and planning manager at the Baxter Theatre Centre. The growth each year, coupled with the interest and support of the local dance community, was sufficient evidence of the need for this platform, she added. 

  • The main programme, from 8 to 16 October at 20h00 each evening, features works of various lengths by established professionals.
  • The off-main programme, on 10 October at 17h00, showcases 22 different works by up-and-coming choreographers (including students).
  • A fringe programme on 17 October at 14h00 showcases 33 works by youth groups, dance studios, school groups and traditional dance groups.

To book go to Computicket or call 0861 915 8000.

This article originally appeared on the UCT website.