[by Cathy Gatland in Johannesburg, South Africa] Our Joburg Sketchers group was given kind permission to sit in on a practice session at Moving Into Dance, a company which develops and produces award winning Contemporary African dancers, choreographers, arts administrators and teachers, many from disadvantaged communities. It was exhilarating, not to mention exhausting (I know, I know!) watching and trying to sketch the ceaseless movements of the young first year dancers.
I thoought there would be some repetitive movements that would give us a chance to capture postures, but those were few and far between as they flew, spun, stomped, twirled and leaped around the room, sometimes almost landing in our laps where wwe sat lined up on a bench at one end. So we had to do what we could... I drew with pencil as I couldn't find a gap in the action to even reach for my watercolours, but added colour later to define some of the frantic lines I put down - and to convey some of the energy of these beautiful dancers. Only 5-10 will go through into second year and even fewer into third - heartbreaking for the ones who don't make it - how do they choose?!