And The Winner Is- presented by the Waterfront Theatre School

Where: The Lane Theatre, Waterfront Theatre School, Port Rd & Alfred St, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
When: August 23 to September 2, 2023

Performance times: 7.30pm and a 3pm matinee on  Saturday August 26 at 3pm

Direct booking link:  

I was intrigued and delighted by And The Winner Is – presented by the Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town. The show features dance interpretations/responses to award winning musicals (stage and screen) and plays – over the last five years- 2018-2023 – danced by students from 1st year to 4th year at the college. Choreography is by faculty staff at the collage and three guest choreographers: Daniel Rajna, Nicola Lubbe and Liam Gillespie of The Outlore. The music is terrific – some of it is from the award winning works and some of it has been added by the choreographers. The dance is impressive – and very diverse – representing the many genres that are taught at the college: Classical ballet, jazz, tap, street dance, contemporary and Broadway. Yes, that is a lot and all of these styles have been included in this fabulous show.

This is a show which is VERY entertaining, high energy, fun, with wow dance but within that is a clever conceptual arc which provides a fascinating lens: A great deal of the featured award winning work was created during the pandemic so this show is a tribute not only to the awards accrued but very much a nod to the zeitgeist, during the last five years and what was expressed on screen and stage. The list of award winning shows in this production, includes: Avatar (2023 Oscar for Best Visual Effects), Inheritance (2021 Tony for Best Play), My Octopus Teacher (2021 Oscar Best Feature Documentary), Michael Jackson – the Musical (2022 Tony Best Choreography) and Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (2023 Oscar Best Picture).

It is a deliciously eclectic selection of award winning work. The music choices are wonderful and the choreography is terrific. This production not only showcases the prodigious talents of the students but also opens up a vista into award winning work, from the last five years.  I did not know about the play, Inheritance, for example. Watching And The Winner Is, I have discovered a lot about work which has been created – in the two years prior to the pandemic and then during the pandemic, when live performance and film began to revive again. This production is more than a showcase of what the WTS dance students are doing. The production makes one want to go and watch the award winning shows that it features.

It is not easy to put a show together, in which all dance students are included; 1st to 4th years – different genres and different skill sets. I loved watching the show. I loved the energy and the range of dance. The classical ballet is extraordinary- acrobatic and athletic. Mention must be made that internationally accredited certification is offered at the college. Not only are the students dancing to dazzle, they are also dancing to meet the standards set by the certification courses and that takes a lot of work. The hard work is evidenced in this dance production.

The sassy hosts of And The Winner Is – Daniele du Plessis and Saskia Bormans – are in the drama stream at the college. They were in the recent production of Oklahoma! staged by the WTS in collaboration with Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer of A&M Productions. Genna Rowley of the WTS, tells me that there are different streams at the college. “You can begin as a drama/musical theatre major or a dance major depending on your level. All student do dance, drama and singing but their timetables are personalized according to the individual.”  The aim is to skill the students in a multiplicity of genres- drama, musical theatre (dance, voice) – and to allow for bespoke teaching for individuals. And the Winner Is – is very much testament to the diversity of the students – their skill sets and their qualities as individuals- as people and as creatives.  The season of And the Winner is – ends on September 2. Go and see this upbeat, energetic, fun show with amazing dance and music. Note – there is no hard copy programme. Scan the digital programme, at the venue.

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