Street Dance: Cleo Notcutt talks about Most Wanted Online, South Africa, incorporating Cape Town’s Most Wanted and Joburg’s Most Wanted, streaming as pay-per-view from Feb 12-19, 2021
|Show: Most Wanted Online |
What: Street dance acts and behind the scenes action – featuring top South African dance crews When: Fri Feb 12, 6pm to Fri Feb 19, 9pm (online for one week) Tickets: R80 Duration: Just over an hour -1 hour and 5 minutes Platform: Quicket https://www.quicket.co.za/events/128721-most-wanted-the-online-edition/#/ Info: Cleo Notcutt e-mail email@example.com
The annual Street Dance productions Cape Town’s Most Wanted and Joburg’s Most Wanted –have not been staged because of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. The organisers decided to bring both shows together – street dance from Joburg and Cape Town -and film a documentary type film to showcase the diversity of our incredible street dance and also provide insights into dance crews and behind-the-scenes footage. After production costs have been recouped, proceeds from ticket sales will going to the artists who are struggling to survive in this pandemic. Cleo Notcutt talks to TheCapeRobyn about this innovative online street dance show- bringing the energy of street dance to the digital stage.
TheCapeRobyn: Were you able to stage the 2020 editions in Joburg and Cape Town – before Covid hit?
Cleo Notcutt: No, unfortunately, we did not. It would have been our 10th year anniversary in Cape Town and 3rd in Johannesburg.
TheCapeRobyn: Why is it called Most Wanted?
Cleo Notcutt: Most Wanted is about bringing the best and “most wanted” dance acts together. Usually this takes place in theatres but for 2021, it is on your screen. We feature crews that have represented South Africa- nationally and internationally- such as:
- Untimitive (Dancestar World Championship winners, African Hip Hop Indaba champions)
- Basic Black (Dancestar World Championship winners )
- Gift of Dance ( Hip Hop International SA varsity champions )
- Mario Gomes Hip Hop Dance Academy (Global Dance Supreme Champions, Dance World Cup champions)
- Lee- Shane Booysen (Redbull Dance Your Style SA champion).
TheCapeRobyn: The Cape Town edition has been going for 10 years. Who started it? You?
Cleo Notcutt: Yes, indeed. The origins go back 10 years, with my parents, Brian and Trish Notcutt ran The Theatre In The District, a small theatre, in Woodstock. Loads of the dances crews used to rehearse at the theatre. I was part of one of the crews so the idea came from there – to establish a theatre based show/platform for street dancers to learn how to create theatrical productions. Crews were able to learn to create their own lighting and other skills – such as building up a fan base and an audience away from street dance competitions. Crews learned how to unite and perform for the love of dance and the entertainment- without expecting a winner at the end- very different to street dance competitions.
TheCapeRobyn: Can you tell us about the producers of Most Wanted Online?
Cleo Notcutt: It is produced by The Dance Project -a community based dance organisation and dance studio in Cape Town- and Triple C (a company dedicated to creating new platforms, opportunities and unique projects for the youth, dancers and artists as a whole). Parable Films has collaborated with us this year in producing the Online show, they are a film company that is run by a dynamic ex-dancer Romeo Tatenda that the Triple C team met on some projects we were doing in Harare and since then we have joined forces to work together across South Africa and Zimbabwe.
TheCapeRobyn: Most Wanted Online has been pre-recorded? It is not going out live?
Cleo Notcutt: The Cape Town crews were pre-recorded at Artscape Theatre and Penny Lane Studios and the Johannesburg crew were pre-recorded at Roodepoort Theatre.
TheCapeRobyn: The format of Most Wanted Online is “documentary style movie” and “a theatrical showcase” and provides insights into how “street dance acts thrived through the worldwide pandemic- from hip hop dance all the way to sbhujwa?
Cleo Notcutt: We wanted to show the world what we do, how hard we work and how everything gets put together- the process from a dance piece to a show -to a solo dance. We wanted to feature the performances but also take the audience backstage. We cannot do this in a live show so the online show gives a different perspective. As a choreographer in the pandemic, it has been tough. The street dance community has suffered with cancelled work, classes and performances We have had to look at things differently. We have had to figuring out new ways to reach audiences, teach students, share our passions. -exploring online platforms. It is important that we explore online – the digital stage – as that is what we have at the moment. Before the pandemic, each year, we had audiences of 2000 – packed theatres i- fans at the theatre in support of their favourite crews. A large percentage of the ticket sales went back to the crews. It is going to be an interesting experiment to see how many of our supporters will tune into watch online. We are learning; growing and continuing to create in this pandemic
TheCapeRobyn: How did you go about curating and collating the dance sequences for Most Wanted Online?
Cleo Notcutt: We put out an invite to crews. We would have liked to include more crews and new studios and soloists but it came down to what we were able to do in a pandemic. We filmed the show at a time when the country opened up a bit more and lockdown regulations had been eased. However, some crews or studios we selected were not rehearsing or in studio yet so they were not able to participate. The safety of the dancers was top priority. There were limitations because of the pandemic – logistically. We had to ensure the dancers had enough time to create their dance pieces –and a safe space to rehearse. Rehearsals are regarded as gatherings and Covid protocols had to be adhered to at all times.
TheCapeRobyn: Do you describe yourself as a choreographer/theatre maker?
Cleo Notcutt: I see myself as a choreographer. I love to create work for the stage. From a young age, I was on stage. I choreograph for film and TV and other platforms. However, the beauty of theatre is always my first love. This show brings me so much joy. It is wonderful to see many of the street dance crews and dancers that I work with, get to experience, play and create in a theatre context – even if it is online – for now. The shows is not a competition or battle. It is about collaborating and creating together – I suppose – theatre meets street and online stream. There is nothing like the excitement of bringing street dance to theatre.
TheCapeRobyn: Is there also a donate button so if people want to donate?
Cleo Notcutt: There currently is not, but that is something we would love to do. People can contact me by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media.
|Most Wanted Online Feb 2021– creative credits: |
Choreographers: Various Director: Sipho Didiza Costume Design: Various Lighting Design: Various artists and Triple C
Presented by Triple C in association with Artscape, Roodepoort Theatre, Penny Lane, Parable Films & The Dance Project
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/156741446112092/ Instagram: @CPTmostwanted and @JHBmostwanted
Contact person: Cleo Notcutt +27 72 446 4186 or e-mail: email@example.com
Related coverage of Most Wanted, on TheCapeRobyn: