The Dance Factory

Home to classes, workshops, performances and annual festivals such as the Arts Alive International Festival, The Dance Factory is the only dedicated dance theatre in South Africa. The venue frequently hosts performances by acclaimed local and international dancers.

The Dance Factory was built circa 1963, conceived by a group of dancers, teachers and choreographers who identified the need for an accessible, communal space for dance. It was formally constituted in 1992 and began operating at the City Hall, relocating to Newtown two years later, when it came to life as a creative and performance venue.

Initially, The Dance Factory ran open classes for all age groups but, from 1998, with funding from the Royal Netherlands Embassy, a formal youth training programme was initiated. Participants were members of community dance groups. From 2003, The Dance Factory began to audition, select and train youngsters on an individual basis. The main objective of The Dance Factory is to nurture, develop and promote innovation and excellence within South Africa dance theatre and movement industry, through training and performances. The Dance Factory acknowledges the intrinsic value of dance as an art form within South African society.

Since 2004, The Dance Factory has committed itself to commissioning and producing new, professional dance theatre works. These have included the award-winners 37 Degrees of Fear (Juanita Finestone-Praeg, 2004), I of Heart (Samantha Pienaar, 2005), Macbeth (PJ Sabbagha, 2006, 2007, 2008) Romeo and Juliet (Dada Maliso, 2008) and Carmen (Dada Masilo, 2009).

Did You Know?

Did you know that in 1896 a shunting train carrying 55 tons of dynamite crashed close to the Braamfontein Station? The explosion killed 72 people and left a crater four storeys deep. Buildings were damaged in and around Newtown.