(Review of “Hope”, a music and dance collaboration between Shannon Hope and the Flatfoot Dance Company)
Durban musician Shannon Hope played a solo song as the entrée to the evening’s entertainment. Her haunting voice and her adroit accompaniment on a grand piano set the scene and continued to fascinate and enthral for the duration of Flatfoot’s contribution.
Six of the company’s resident dancers, namely Sifiso Khumalo, Jabu Siphika, Julia Wilson, Tshediso Kabulu, Sifiso majola and Thobile Maphanga played out a series of relationships with Hope pouring her heart into her songs; songs which spoke of desire, desolation, delight and disappointment in love. Julia Wilson’s meticulous attention to detail and the way her body interprets emotional content was particularly evident.
Beautiful projected close-up images of the women dancers’ faces enhanced the scene and, later, the seven participants were observed communicating in a relaxed and natural way. ‘Hope’ is a relatively light piece, with moments of humour and even levity; the power of the emotional content expressed mostly through the extraordinary vocals of Shannon.
Flatfoot seeks out collaborations that add new dimension to their work and, while live musical accompaniment is not new to their repertoire, Shannon Hope’s original singing style certainly contributed something rare and profound.