Seen on July 6, 2015 @ National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
In the dark a girl is taking a bath. At the far end of the stage a young boy makes candlelight dance, quite literally as he skilfully moves and lights his fingers one by one, making sure all flames stay alive during his movements. A reversed zebra pattern lies spread over the floor and reaches to the ceiling.
The audience is whispering about must see shows they have seen or are about to see. The darkness intensifies and a mysterious voice recites whispered words, a prayer to connect with the ancestors or a deity. Is the man praying whilst the candle lights multiply? What is he pleading for? The reoccurring lashing is frightening. It turns into a skipping row. How can this heartfelt prayer turn into a cruel slave master that frightens a group a group of frantic dancers desperate for light.
Siva is a modern dance production with an enormous expression, where the constant magnetism towards each other and not finding the other is at the core, a search to belong, to find identity in oneself, in one another and in the Other. The dancers are accompanied by a live band that remains hidden until the finale behind the huge zebra patterned fabric. African percussion and jazz make the soundtrack in a search for meaning. Dancers beg one another for attention whilst limping around, strange looks in the faces when encounter takes place, power struggles and the world that seems to keep spinning faster and faster. A heartbeat that is constantly reinforced. People at the mercy of each other. Very complex dance moves. Dancers hold each other in a complex intricate web of life, affirming and denying realities where all faiths found on the streets of Hillbrow come together as you hear a plea for God in many names, searching inside one self, with other people and outside oneself.
Vuyani Dance Theatre
Choreography: Luyanda Sidiya
Musical direction: Xolisile Bongwana
Dramaturge: Gerard Bester
Musicians: Phosho Lebese, Mpumi Nhlapo, Ayanda Nhlangothi, Teboho Mokoena
Dancers: Keaoleboga Seodigeng, Lulu Mlangeni, Otto Nhlapo, Phumlani Mndebele, Phumlani Nyanga, Nomasonto Radebe, Xolisile Bongwana, Julia Burnham, Roseline Keppler, Edwin Ramoba