JOHANNES BROUGHT A FUN FILLED FESTIVAL OF ‘FREEDOM’ TO GOH
Last night there was barely an empty seat, the auditorium was filled with eager fans ready to be entertained by strictly icon Johannes Rebede.
Having interviewed Johannes last month I got a bit of an insight into the show, I asked him if he could tell me what the show was about, he said “Freedom Unleashed is a riveting dance extravaganza - the show tells the story of my upbringing from South Africa to the world all performed to dance classics, scorching African Rhythms and huge party anthems, accompanied by a beautiful diverse cast of talent. I can't wait for everyone to join in the party!”
Boy did he down play it! From the get go you could feel the energy from the stage, Ramelo the main female singer in the show was dressed as a teacher, she was in a classroom with a young Johannes eagerly waiting for the school bell to ring, her voice was so beautiful, I was blown away by her, I wasn't surprised when I read that she is a prior finalist on South Africa’s version of the voice, within minutes the party started as the Company broke into dance
With a show like this you really need to be in the room to really experience it so I don’t want to give too much away though I do have to talk about a few things that I personally loved!
First off it has to be the level of talent on display, for 2ish hours the Company of 10 dancers dances their songs off, treating us to an array of different dance styles. There honestly was something for everyone from Traditional African, Ballroom, Lyrical, Spanish, Jazz and Show dances.
During the Lyrical section there was a beautifully displayed moment of UNITY! - you’ll know what I mean when you watch, then in the Jazz section our heartstrings were pulled as Johannes and one of the male dancers did a beautiful understated piece. For me being a thespian the Musical section was such a treat, with snippet of many iconic songs such as West Side Story, Grease, Lion King, Mama Mia to name a few
Johannes is such a fashionista and the costumes in particular that he wore were unreal, stylish, camp, loud, daring, stunning and just wonderful, bravo to the designer. Watch out for the male dancers wearing the eye popping leopard print leotards.
The Staging was simplistic yet so impactful, there was a wall of words that mean a lot to Johannes, they lite up at various points throughout the show, things like Ma Ma, Hope, Resilience, Pride, Dancer, Inspire, Rainbow Nation, Dream and more
I knew just how nice Johannes was when we chatted though I didn’t know how funny he was, between sections of his story he would address the audience, he had so many jokes and innuendos, his facial expressions captivate the audience though it was how humble of a human he was that stood out, such an appreciative person.
I must mention the singing again like variety in dance the story was held together with song which for me really brings out your emotions, at times we were silent in awe, others on our feet and also in tears, the voices were explosive and at times haunting with the mix of traditional African style and modern music we are all familiar with, I already mentioned Ramelo though also need to shout out to the male vocalist Dune-Lamonte O’Carro - both super talented.
The show closed in true carnival fashion, everyone was on their feet singing and dancing - what an ending to show.
Tickets are limited though if you can you really must seen Johannes, he is only in The Grand Opera House until Saturday, tickets available via goh.co.uk
Post show Daniel got a few snaps with Johannes and he also signed the current issue of GNI - If you are still to read the piece you can do via this link GNI MAG ISSUE 55 - JOHANNES by GNI MAG - Issuu