Dance work inspired by the elderly

A scene from David Gouldie’s Handbag (Don’t Clutch Me Too Tight…), a highlight of the 21st South African Women’s Arts Festival.

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BY BILLY SUTER

A COLOURFUL work by choreographer David Gouldie, Handbag (Don’t Clutch Me Too Tight…), is the dance highlight of the 21st annual South African Women’s Arts Festival, to be presented by Durban’s Playhouse Company at the Playhouse complex, in the city centre, from this week.

The mini-festival, celebrating women, runs from August 10 to 19 and features a host of  workshops and award-winning dramas, including the Naledi Award-winning plays Suddenly the Storm and Scorched.

Free live music – featuring the likes of Platform Jazz, Natalie Rungan, Heels Over Head, Lu Dlamani and others – is also on the festival bill.

Handbag (Don’t Clutch Me Too Tight…) features the Playhouse Dance Residency and Flatfoot Dance Company, and is a work based on the real-life tales of women who live at The Association For The Aged (Tafta). It is said to have come about from interviews and shared experiences with a group of elderly women, reflecting moments of joy, loss and remembrance.

“A first kiss, marriage, loss, forgiveness… the work follows the linear narratives of these intimate stories to ultimately speak to overall global issues,” says a Playhouse Company spokesman.

Handbag (Don’t Clutch Me Too Tight…) is scheduled for performances at the Playhouse Drama theatre at 9.30am on August 10, 9.30am and 7pm on August 11, and 2pm on August 12. Schools performances (R30 per pupil) can be booked by calling (031) 369 9407. Tickets for the evening public performances cost R80, and can be booked at Computicket.

NOTE: See elsewhere under ‘Theatre’ on this site to find out more about the drama and other offerings at the festival.

A standout moment from David Gouldie’s Handbag (Don’t Clutch Me Too Tight…).
A standout from David Gouldie’s Handbag (Don’t Clutch Me Too Tight…), a highlight of the 21st South African Women’s Arts Festival.

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