The choreographer challenged your imagination about the ghosts in the corridors at the modernist office tower, abandoned in 1987 during the height of businesses’ flight from the inner city, by planting performers in the only remaining cupboard. Walking through the offices, deserted except for a shredder and an old rotary phone, you became aware of your role as a participant in the drama unfolding.
The lit stain glass windows at the entrance to the darkened trading floor highlighted the setting as a defiled cathedral of capitalism. Narratives about corruption poured out from a troupe of talented performers. A crazed trader dancing on the narrow second story balcony provided an eerie contemporary commentary about the very real danger of greed. A provocatively costumed dominatrix excited lust in many beside Caesar with her athletic movement and assertive stage presence. The formidable wife provided a haunting counterpoint. The lighting, her costume, movement, and stillness packed a psychological punch.
Panther and the musical director lost their way towards the end of the 90-minute show. A drag rendition of “Memories” and a young, loud, live rock band playing the finale felt giddy and inappropriate. Offering you a glass of wine before you climbed the broken escalator to the Stock Exchange Lobby was a nice touch—your reward for choosing to participate in this satire/dance theatre.
Qaphelia Caesar! showcased a tremendous range of home-grown talent. Delighted that Panther’s “multi-media massacre of William Shakespeare’s masterpiece” got another showing. (The show was created at the University of Cape Town Drama School in 2009 and staged at the Cape Town City Hall in 2010) Encore! And make sure you get the Stock Exchange leadership—past and present—to revel in the madness.
www.artslink.co.za for more listings. The Dance Umbrella runs until March 4, 2012.
Related article: http://www.iol.co.za/tonight/news/local/24-not-out-1.1224236