Queensburgh’s Kevin and Michaela get in step with dancing

Michaela Munro with Thobile Maphanga on the performance of Cardiac Output at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

TWO Queensburgh residents with Down Syndrome blazed a new trail for dance in South Africa with their performance of Cardiac Output at this year’s 19th JOMBA! Contemporary Dance on Sunday, 3 September.

Kevin Govender and Michaela Munro, along with two other performers, Charles Phillips (Westville) and Karl Hebbelmann (Pinetown), auditioned earlier this year and worked with Flatfoot dancers Thobile Maphanga, Sifiso Khumalo, Zihle Nzama and Jabu Siphika for the last five months.

“We worked with the Durban Down Syndrome Society to initially audition dancers for this work, but also in an endeavour to develop a relationship with dancers who are wanting to perform and create,” said Lliane Loots, the artistic director of JOMBA! and the Flatfoot Dance Company.

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“This was an art project, not a therapy project. It was a project in which the dancers made a commitment to make a profound piece of art. A meaningful work of art that can make a difference to us all.”

Escombe resident, Kevin is a 27-year-old sports fanatic who loves listening to music and DJ-ing. He enjoyed being on stage after only two weeks of intense rehearsals with professional dances.

“I enjoyed it a lot and would do it again, even though I was nervous, I wasn’t scared,” he said.

Michaela Munro with Thobile Maphanga on the performance of Cardiac Output at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Michaela went from dancing in her bedroom with headphones on, to the big stages with professional dancers. The 22-year-old attends Careways in Kloof and would love to see her friends also get into dance.

Apart from dancing Michaela loves listening to music and reading, especially books on horses.

The choreography was done by Adriaan Luteijn, the artistic manager of INTRODANS’s educational department, Introdans Interactie.

Music lover and now contemporary dancer, Kevin Govender.

His work explores and extends the usual expectations of art by working with elderly and autistic dancers.

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Adriaan said that professional dancers learn so much about themselves and their artform when they dance with people who are differently-abled, and vice versa.

“It is amazing to see how our guest dancers grow stronger in their self confidence, and, of course, the audience’s applause does the rest.”

The medical term ‘cardiac output’ is used for the amount of blood pumped through the heart per minute. The choreography is about matters of the human heart which can influence the cardiac output.

Cardiac Output closed this year’s JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.


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Khethukuthula Lembethe-Xulu

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