By Paula Gilbert
Body forms is described by contemporary dance teacher Tshego Tlholoe as an “all body experience”.
The contemporary dance classes began because the founders saw the gap that was left when First Physical was forced to close down due to lack of funding. The ‘Dance for All’ classes that First Physical Theatre used to give were gone and so Body Forms was born.
Tlholoe explains that they wanted to set up a kind of dance class for drama students to grow in their body awareness but also “for outsiders who are interested in what we do” she said. They wanted to make dancing “more accessible to more students” she said.
Nicola Elliott, also a contemporary dance teacher said that Body Forms began because they wanted to “develop a dance culture in Grahamstown, to get people dancing, and talking about dancing.” But Body Forms is not all about the contemporary dancing, it also includes a voice class and ashtanga yoga three times a week.
Audience awareness is very important to both Elliott and Tlholoe, both of whom have done their Honours in choreography and dancing; because if people experience the hard work that physical theatre takes it will increase their audience appreciation.
Second year BA student Laura Sheppard, who has been attending the contemporary dance class, said she enjoys the classes because they give her “the opportunity to engage in a different kind of dancing that is stimulating and spiritual” and that they are always ”a good end to a bad day”.
Reception has been good so far with large attendance a the opening classes. If you are curious head down to the Drama department and get your body moving.