What began as a Cape Town dance fundraiser for a mass-sterilisation project for township animals in May this year has quickly caught on nationally as Dancers Love Dogs hosts its Durban event tonight, Wednesday, 12 September, and prepares for a Joburg show in October.
Brigitte Reeve-Taylor, a well-known specialist in Horton technique, jazz, lyrical and contemporary dance, founded the non-profit organisation based on her determination to utilise one passion to benefit another. "My inspiration came from my experience in theatre and my love for animals," she said.
Mass sterilisation is the only way to curb the large numbers of unwanted puppies born into communities without the means to care for them properly.
The dance showcase Reeve-Taylor directed at Artscape in May raised over R130 000, which enabled the sterilisation of over 511 animals in Cape Town. Everyone who performed in and worked on the show donated their time for the cause.
Pawfriends the next project
"Our next project will be assisting Reese Harley and Carla de Lange at PawFriends to sterilise over 60 animals in the Westlake township. They run this incredible organisation and work tirelessly every day to assist the animals there," Reeve-Taylor said.
She has received commitments of assistance from Pick n Pay and Promeal, but there are never enough donations and sponsorships of things such as food, deworming tablets, flea sprays, medical supplies, food and water bowls, leads and bedding for animals in need.
Dancers Love Dogs takes place at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban at 7.30pm on 12 September and at the Wits Theatre in Joburg at 8pm on 12 October. Shows will be held in Pretoria and Bloemfontein early in 2013. Funds raised will go towards mass sterilisation projects in these areas.
"Each promises to be a night of great entertainment," said Reeve-Taylor.
Bookings for the Durban show are through Computicket and tickets cost R180 each. Tickets for the Johannesburg event are R250 each, which covers one dog's sterilisation, vaccination and deworming.
* Photograph courtesy of veryvivi.com "The pointe shoe in this photograph belonged to the famous American prima ballerina assoluta Gelsey Kirkland. In the late 1970s, the photographer, Vanessa, performed with her in American Ballet Theatre's production of La Sylphide at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Centre, New York. After the performance, Vanessa knocked on Gelsey's dressing room door and was invited in to talk with the legendary ballerina. Before leaving, Vanessa asked Gelsey if she could keep the pair of pointe shoes she had worn in the second act. Gelsey generously obliged. These ballet shoes represent the joy of giving and symbolise a special gift that keeps on giving. (Vanessa is Vivi's mother and veryvivi.com's photographer too.)"
Debbie Hathway is a specialist dance writer and critic for the Cape Times and Bizcommunity's BizLounge. She's a former writer, columnist and critic for the Weekend Argus, Cape Argus and Daily News Tonight.
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I just hope that they also have the same in our local community theater, to marry dancing or the arts with the love for animals. I found the articles from a blog of a woman who writes about extra large shoes. She was blogging about a woman who asked helped from her on where to find large dress shoes. In return, the woman has invited the blogger to her benefit for dogs that needed a home. The blogger was able to help the woman find the right fit for her large shoe size and was able to raise some money for the benefit.