FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY can be found in the heart of the East coast of South Africa in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is nestled in the heart of the warm ocean facing city of Durban. Its geographical location is important to FLATFOOT as this sense of place is what offers a unique flavour to this African contemporary dance company. Often working with memory and history, FLATFOOT has developed a unique identity as a contemporary South African dance company that is known to offer politically and socially charged dance theatre work.
Working from a contemporary based training that includes, Graham, Hawkins and Release Technique, the company also does ballet class once a week and has a strong pull from the traditional African dance forms that are located in KwaZulu-Natal. Unique to FLATFOOT is the ability of the resident professional dancers to traverse both an African traditional dance idiom and then step into strong contemporary technique and performance.
Lliane Loots began FLATFOOT ‘unofficially’ in 1995 as a part-time training programme that aimed to offer technical contemporary dance training to any Durban based dancers who was able to make the classes. The company began with no funding and simply the good will and political and artistic impulse to offer dance training to those who has historically and economically been denied access due to the apartheid systems. The company offered small choreographic works at any and all free platforms in Durban until, in 2002, a decision was made to begin applying for funding to secure a more permanent base for some of the exceptional dancers who were coming through. In 2003 the National Arts Council of South Africa gave FLATFOOT its first official project based funding and so helped it begin the long and beautiful process of becoming a full registered and now internationally recognised African contemporary dance company.
FLATFOOT prides itself on not only offering dance theatre work that has won numerous awards, commissions and invitations from all over the world, but also on the vast amount of dance development and dance education work that they run in both rural and urban areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The initial impulse of creating FLATFOOT - the idea of growing dance and dancers - is something that the company still remains true to and they take great joy and pride in the dance developmental work that FLATFOOT is able to achieve each year.