"The colouRED Chameleon"

Rehearsal notes: For me there’s something very special about going through the stage doors at the Joseph Stone Theatre in Athlone and into the EOAN Group studio. It is the knowledge of the amazing talent that lies behind and the anticipation to witness their latest creation.

Today cast members Lucille Hendricks, Mishkaah Medell, Clyde Smith, Joshua Ewers and Marvin Lategaan were working on “Red” the new piece by Ebrahim Medell in collaboration with Desiré Davids.

In typical Ebie fashions it’s obviously fabulous. It’s demanding and physical. The hip hop dancers Joshua and Marvin, whom we witnessed in contemporary work during the Baxter Dance Festival and Dance UCT earlier this year already, are joined by fellow hip hop dancer Clyde. Ebie makes full use of their hip hop skills and creates a powerful fusion of contemporary with strong hip hop influence for some duets and triplets performed by the male dancers. It is marvellous to watch the guys grow in their contemporary skills. Lucille and Mishkaah are Lucille and Mishkaah with very strong solos, beautiful duets and demanding dynamics when interacting with the guys. It’s wonderful to watch in a studio rehearsal already.

The story for me was very emotional, touching me deeply, with tears running freely at times. What is it with performances by the EOAN Group that place me on such emotional roller coasters?

I know there are a large number of shows to watch next week. For “The colouRED Chameleon” there are three morning school performances from 3-5 December and two in the evening on 4 and 5 December. I urge you to make a plan to get to the Joseph Stone Auditorium to watch “Red”. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Event details:

Photos: Betalife Productions

And two, shot with my iPhone today.

he said "thousand years"

Heartbeats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you 
For a thousand years
I love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this
One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you 

Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I love you for a thousand more

One step closer
One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I love you for a thousand more

Yesterday, Eater spoke with Time editor Howard Chua-Eoan about the lack of women chefs in the magazine’s recent Gods of Food feature. Here now, New York chef Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy responds to[…]

[…]Mr. Chua-Eoan can’t get out into restaurants like us normal people and meet chefs on his own. Those of us with a lot of leisure time can swan about the city and look in kitchens and see all the women working there, or we can use our free time to go to their restaurants and eat their food. But poor Mr. Chua-Eoan is not so lucky. He has to meet chefs at special events which, as we all know, have their own problems inviting women. It’s a human centipede out there and instead of criticizing we should all just count ourselves lucky our mouths aren’t stitched to some event organizer’s anus.

[…]As Mr. Chua-Eoan says of the magical chart, which was put together by Aaron Arizpe: “It’s all men because men still take care of themselves. The women really need someone — if not men, themselves actually — to sort of take care of each other. “So see, women don’t take care of themselves or shave their legs enough or something, and they don’t have men doing it for them, so they’re not on the chart. 

[…]Most importantly, Mr. Chua-Eoan is not some nerd who knows about things that happened in the past. As he says: “The female chef is a relatively recent phenomenon, except for Alice who has been around for a long time.” Let’s leave it at that, okay? The man is busy. He’s not some nitpicker who would know that Eugénie Brazier was the first chef in the world to have six Michelin stars way back in 1933, and that she trained Paul Bocuse. Or that Louis XV’s favorite chef was a woman. Or that there were so many famous female chefs in New York City in the 80’s and 90’s that in 1999 the New York Times wrote an article bemoaning the lack of a new generation of female chefs to fill their shoes.

I didn’t catch this the first time around, but this is one of the best things ever, and I <3 Amanda Cohen, and that Time fucking cover was a travesty.


One of my absolute favourite works of this years BDF. Ebrahim Medell’s “Past Imperfects” performed by the EOAN Group Theatre Company and trainees. Watching Ebie during rehearsals in the studio at the Joseph Stone Auditorium and the technical rehearsal at the Baxter Theatre is something. He knows exactly what he wants even if it’s only under consideration until he comes up with something even grander. There was a bit of complaining among the dancers that it can’t be done. But after much rehearsals in the end it could very well be done. And what an extravaganza it was. It was the most fabulous staging of the BDF and William Constable his most fabulous self. The costumes just too gorgeous with a hint of burlesque. The girls with fans on point marvellous. The “dying swan” pas des deux with Mishkaah and Lucille stunning. Hard to believe that Joshua Ewers and Marvin Lategan aren’t contemporary dancers but from the EOAN hip hop crew. Hat off to them for their performance and to Ebie for the way he choreographed their solos and pas des deux. I wish I could see “Past Imperfects” a few more times.

Photos: Oscar O’Ryan


"THE colouRED CHAMELEON" at the Joseph Stone Auditorium from 3-5 December consists two works. "Red" by EOAN Group (detailed previously in the link below) and


Choreography and Interpretation : Desiré Davids & David Johnson (actor)
Lighting design : Serge Damon
Visual Images : Pascale Béroujon
Duration : 30min

“If day followed night and
Night followed day without neither sunset nor dawn.
If Winter followed Summer with no Spring and Autumn…
If the world were black and white… Is the world black and white?
Am I black/white enough for you…

The Apartheid system of racial segregation and oppression created
a narrow identity grey zone between the highly articulated and striated bands
of black and white that were the hallmarks of its long and misguided rule.
Occupying this nervous territory of an unimaginative racial identity crisis,
are people of mixed race. The Coloureds…

… the dance continues…”

“WHY this work?
Being part of a community who in the last couple of years have been struggling with
their “place” in the new South Africa and an identity crises…amongst others, I deeply felt
the need to express my thoughts and questions.

For a majority of this community, nothing has changed since the end of apartheid and for many life has become even more difficult.
It is true that a part of this community in SA still find themselves “in the balance/ neither here nor there/ on the fence/ then not white enough now not black enough”

However, do we question our part, our decisions, our stance in pre- and post Apartheid South Africa?”

“- COLOUREDS - South Africans of mixed race / Descendants of the sexual liaisons between colonialists, slaves and the indigenous Khoisan which took place centuries ago / Pre- 1994 classified as being “less than white BUT better than black”

- CHAMELEONS - A distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards with the ability for some to change color / The primary purpose of color change in chameleons is social signalling.

- 1985 had at least 1000 “chameleons”. More than 1000 people officially changed colour last year….dubbed “the chameleon dance” - The Star 21 March 1986

The humiliation of being ‘less than white’ made being ‘better than black’ a very fragile position to occupy. - Zimitri Erasmus”

Event details:

Desiré’s webpage:

Rehearsals notes from the other work on the programme “Red”:

Eoan Group School of Performing Arts Open Day 2015

Saturday, 31st January 2015 
Venue: Joseph Stone Auditorium, Protea St, Athlone
Contact: eoangroup@telkomsa.net

"Eoan Group School of Performing Arts Open Day 2015. Saturday 31st January. Come and register for Ballet, Modern Dance, Hip Hop, African Contemporary, Belly dance, Spanish dance, Music (piano, guitar, drums) and Drama. Adults and children welcome. Watch this space for further details on costs, times etc. Warning: Do not spend another year without the Performing Arts! It is contagious, super exciting and is totally and awesomely Expressive!”


"The Prince of Egypt" by EOAN Group
Friday 12 December 2014 at 8 pm
Saturday 13 December 2014 at 8 pm
Sunday 14 December 2014 at 3 pm
Duration: ?
Interval: ?
Venue: Joseph Stone Auditorium, Athlone
Tickets: R90, R50 pensioners and under 12
Booking: via Computicket
Contact: 021-637-1268

"EOAN Group’s end of year performance."


"Dance UCT 2014" by UCT School of Dance
Saturday 1 November 2014 at 2:30 pm
Saturday 1 November 2014 at 7:30 pm [sold out]
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes including 20 minutes interval
Venue: Baxter Flipside, Main Rd, Rondebosch
Tickets: R55 preview, R65, students and seniors R35
Booking: via Computicket
Contact: angie.pearson@uct.ac.za

Here’s what I wrote after Friday’s preview:

Event page (Baxter):

Event page (UCT SoD)

Bookings (Computicket):

Facebook event page:

Press release:

Photos: Pat Bromilow-Downing (provided by UCT SoD)


This years Dance UCT has a very strong offering from both the UCT SoD students and the guests.

Among the guest performances are:

- The EOAN Group with Ebrahim Medell’s “Word without Voices”.
An other of Ebie’s wonderful creations with a strong cast.

- Debbie Turner’s Cape Dance Company (CDC) with Belinda Nusser’s “Fadeout. Five” (First cast Friday and Saturday evening, alternate cast on Saturday afternoon).
The alternate cast had a very strong performance last night and the Flipside was perfect for this work. Brava Gemma Trehearn. Well done.

- Dianne Cheesman’s Cape Junior Ballet (CJB) (Friday only)

- Sean Bovim’s Bovim Ballet (Saturday only)

The students of the UCT SoD can be seen in:

- Extract from Paquita performed by 1st to 4th year students

- Lisa Wilson’s & Janine Booysens’ “Uprising: the point of action” seems to be made for the Flipside. I thought it was a lot stronger than during the BDF. Looking forward to see it grow further. Brava to Kaylin Coetzee, Tracey September and Thara Alcock and bravo to Darion Adams and Kyle Linde for very strong performances.

- The haunting Spanish Dance Theatre “House of Bernada Alba” choreographed by Mavis Becker with guest performers from Tierra Flamenca. Julia de Rosenwerth was superb as the mother and so was Kim Kiki Pretorius (Tierra Flamenca) as the rebel daughter. And it’s always a pleasure to listen to live music by flamenco guitarist Bienyameen Camroodien and flamenco singer Lorean ‘La Lola Negra’ Swartz (Tierra Flamenca). In my humble opinion this was the strongest Spanish Dance performance since Carolyn Holden staged “Bernada” at the Hiddingh Hall. Can’t wait to see this again tonight.

- Janine Booysens’ “The Beginning” performed by 1st year students.

- Tanya Arshamian’s “Symbiosis” performed by 4th year students.

- Maxwell Xolani Rani’s “Uyibonile”. Great storytelling. Beautiful truly contemporary African dance movements that always surprise and amaze me. Very strong and tight group movements. Very well done. Brava, bravo to the cast.

Event details:

Photos: Pat Bromilow-Downing (provided by UCT SoD)


We saw a lot of great performances by the EOAN Group during the 10th Baxter Dance Festival. I very much enjoyed how they offered so many different styles and how the young dancers adapted to them. The Fringe Programme was no difference. The EOAN Group adapted to the very different audience of the Fringe Programme and delivered two works that wowed them. It was beautiful to see all the very young talents on stage that probably will move into the trainee ranks as they get a bit older.

"All That" performed by EOAN Group of Performing Arts choreographed by Desiree Angus

“Sing” performed by EOAN Group School of Performing Arts choreographed by Lucille Hendricks

Photos: Oscar O’Ryan


A few thoughts on “10th Baxter Dance Festival (BDF) 2014”.

That’s a wrap for the BDF 2014. After watching four main programmes twice each as well as the off main and fringe programmes I’m a bit tired but very, very happy. There was a lot of really good and very entertaining dance on stage. For me the 10th BDF was the best one yet. It would have deserved full houses every night but sadly that didn’t happen. I wonder why this is.

Thinking about the BDF 2014 is almost impossible without thinking about the EOAN Group. Seven choreographers created seven brand new works, that premiered at the BDF 2014. Now that is what I call commitment. And it wasn’t just any works but works you will remember. “Splitting Images” choreographed by Mishkaah Medell touched me deeply and had me and many other audience members in tears and up on our feet for well deserved standing ovations on opening night. Ebrahim Medell’s “Past imperfects” was the extravaganza of the festival if there ever was one. Each and every one of the other five works wowed the audiences and were among the best that was offered.

Mishkaah Medell and Lucille Hendricks performed in every one of those seven works and the EOAN trainees, Layla Hendricks, Lisa Bennett, Shay Diedricks, Carla Scholtz, Daneeka Gutuza, Erin Jattiem and Courtney Toll, in six of them. I don’t know how they did it but they did. And I’m bowing low and clapping loudly in admiration.

Then there were Grant Van Ster, Shaun Oelf and Thabisa Dinga in one of those pure magic moments on Friday night. Figure of Eight (FO8)’s “The Architecture of Tears” choreographed by Ananda Fuchs and the cast, never looked better than on that Baxter Theater stage before. There isn’t a word to describe it so let’s call it magic. The audience including myself couldn’t contain itself and there were standing ovations during the performance and after. The three of them probably never smiled sweeter during the last part of the piece than on that night. Magic!

The UCT School of Dance (SoD) had their strongest official entry to the BDF to date with Lisa Wilson & Janine Booysen “Uprising” performed by UCT Footprints Repertory Dance. Even more impressive was the scale and quality of choreographies entered by current and newly graduated UCT SoD students. “Cleanse” by Rae’ Classen, “Solo” by Janine Booysens, “In Time” (EOAN) and “Shadows” (CJB) by Natasha Rhoda, “Things Unseen” by Shirley-Anne Bezuidenhout and “Island” by Julia de Rosenwerth. UCT SoD also showed some amazing dance talent at this years BDF. Kaylin Coetzee in “Uprising”, Tracey September and Yandisa Mtsotso in “Solo” and Kopano Maroga in “Island” to name just a very few.

UCT SoD wasn’t the only school entering excellent works by new choreographers. Cape Accademy of Performing Arts (CAPA) 4th year students Asisipho Ndlovu “Through Aviary”, Lize Grobler “Survival”, Mthuthuzeli November “Lotus” and in extension Ciara Baldwin “Syncopation” (Sarah Cookney Academy of Dance) were highlights in the off main and fringe programmes.

CAPA and Cape Dance Company (CDC) also enthralled audiences with superb technique showcased in the wonderful “Fadeout. Five” by Belinda Nusser and “Disconnect” by Michelle Reid, which saw its big stage premier at the BDF.

I thought Jazzart came back with a bang with “Melting Truth” by Mziyanda Mancam. Possibly my favourite since iHaw’ Elisha.

New World Dance Theater (NWDT) impressed with both company “Ergo” and trainees “Expansion” entries. There’s some excellent work done here with the trainees.

It was good to see that the young were not only nurtured by the known big groups like Dance for All (DFA) and EOAN but that schools seem to be more and more settings their view on dance education. There were a number of entries from schools in the fringe programme showing promise. I very much hope this will grow over time.

Darkroom Contemporary had a successful BDF. Louise Coetzer’s “Blueprint” transformed beautifully to the big stage albeit as an excerpt only. More of her choreography talent could be seen with DFA’s “The Forgotten”. Oscar O’Ryan’s Motion exhibition ran in parallel to the festival in the foyer of the Baxter Theatre and allowed Oscar to sell some of his work. And then of cause did he deliver all those amazing photos from the performances.

Underground Dance Theatre (UDT) delivered a stunning commissioned work with “Mode” and introduced the voice of Robin Botha to the dance scene. While I know this by far wasn’t the last we saw from UDT I hope Robin will feature in future dance works in Cape Town.

Spanish dance is still alive in the post Carolyn Holden era. But I dearly miss to see her vision of it.

With “Wena Mamela” Mamela Nyamza wonderfully showed that there are other definitions of dance than ‘dancey’. It’s good to have boundaries pushed. Thank you.

There were many more performances that deserve a mention but let’s leave it with the above for now.

In retrospect I would have liked to see works in the main or off main programmes that almost seemed hidden away in the fringe. And in my humble opinion there were two or three works in a main programmes that didn’t deserve to be there looking at what else was on offer at the BDF. But in retrospect that’s easy to say.

It was a fantastic festival. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Thank you Nicolette Moses, Baxter Theatre team, choreographers, dancers, dance schools and studios, teachers and trainers and last but not least sponsors to make it happen.

Here is to an even bigger and better one in 2015.

Photos: Oscar O’Ryan


“Past imperfects” performed by EOAN Group Theatre Company and Trainees choreographed by Ebrahim Medell (20 min)

Cast: Mishkaah Medell, Lucille Hendricks, Layla Hendricks, Lisa Bennett, Shay Diedricks, Carla Scholtz, Daneeka Gutuza, Erin Jattiem, Courtney Toll, Lindsay Davids, Joshua Ewers, Marvin Lategan and William Constable.

Synopsis: “No regrets……Thank you Edith xxx”

I saw studio and technical stage rehearsals and I urge you not to miss this.

Photos: C. Alexander Photography and Eoan Group @ Eoan Arts