Underground Dance Theatre envisaged, designed, produced and managed this large-scale event to launch a new dance film created by Gerard Samuel for GIPCA, as well as refresh the public imagination around what the UCT School of Dance stands for. The film focused on South Africans’ notion of tea – so UDT used tea as the central motif for the event, which became a South Africanised mad hatter’s tea party. A giant inflatable tunnel led attendees into the dance school grounds, suggesting a rabbit hole to wonderland, and allowing one to see the dance department in a new light. Cross-dressing mad hatters and queens of tarts invited guests to sample South African snacks – koeksisters, lamingtons and rusks – to accompany the tea on offer. Comfortable seating areas allowed guests to relax, while décor touches such as chairs dangling from fairy-light-bedecked trees added to the wonderland feel. Dance department students performed installations in office windows and under staircases, delighting the audience.

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