Tavaziva Dance, Soul Inspired
The Place, 30 March 2006
Reviewed by Lindsey Clarke
In advance, the Soul Inspired programme advertised four pieces, yet on the night, a new duet was quietly inserted as the second piece. Last night was an incredibly sexy, contemporary dance duet. Set to the deep throaty music of Tom Waits, it commenced in darkness, Paula Conduit and Diwele Lube shedding their previous costumes and standing, suggestively, facing and straining towards each other in the half light. New clothes were flung on stage and skillfully they dressed each other in shadow.
As the lights warmed, they created a spellbinding, intimate love relationship through naturalistic and physically aware choreography and gorgeous, surprising partnerwork.
The piece was tantalisingly short, yet beautiful, erotic and tasteful. Quite simply, hot stuff that was over too soon.
In fact, the whole programme left you wanting more. It hung together so well - capturing the spirit of the endeavour. A series of works fusing African and contemporary dance and exploring their limits for expressing the range of emotions invoked by cross cultural exchange, urbanity, community, love, loss and rage.
The opening piece, Worlds Apart, introduced the company as they met, engaged in banter and dance offs, diverting into earthy, urban influenced choreographed material in fragmented duets and ensemble pieces organically lead by one or other dancer, demonstrating the company working as an ideal community.
Zviri Mumoyo or 'It is in your heart' - a solo from the soul, can apparently be performed by any member of the company. Tonight, Lerato Lepere took the stage in a beautifully controlled African, pop, contemporary dance solo, firmly buffeting off interruptions from her distracting off-duty company colleagues to revel in her joyful solo, celebrating dance itself.
Tribe threatened with ominous red lighting and opened on an impressively aggressive encounter between Nicholas Watson & Paula Conduit to a surprisingly effective soundscape of waves washing over shingle. Watson went on to duel using strength, agility and daring with Lube, the only weak point arising when Lube appeared to despatch Watson, and an overwrought scene of regret ensued, before the body was hauled elegantly off stage over one shoulder.
A graceful, balletic duet by Bawren Tavaziva and Arthur Kyeyune dressed as warriors rounded off the piece neatly contrasting the earlier raw aggression - yet they still managed to intimidate; eyes pinning the audience in place.
Tavaziva Dance are a subtly emotional company, as exhibited in Umdlalo Kasisi, 'inspired by the death of a loved one'. The company open and close in homogenous mournful, processional mode, huddled together, disguised under sheeny headscarves. The contrasting moment of spiralling out into individual life and simulated fire as the flamy scarves unwrapped and flickered about them - a joyfully effective moment. African dance passion and riotousness melded seamlessley into contemporary dance cool, the dancers again demonstrating their sense of community whilst allowing their individuality to shine through.
Tavaziva command attention with a diverse portfolio of choreography, performed with artistry, commitment, intensity and a sense of humour. I'd love to see them again. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting evening of new dance.
This review is reproduced the with kind permission of londondance.com
A full version of this article was published on www.londondance.com April 2006