Purple Rain

Seen on July 1, 2016 @ National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Young dancers of the MDG Performing Arts Company swoosh over the stage like rain and thunderstorm do. Drip by drip or in full force a love story unravels. Protagonists are a beautiful girl and a handsome deaf boy that have to overcome multiple challenges to be together. The only language to communicate is dance. That dance is like the sweet balm after a quenching drought, or like a raging thunderstorm, or the gentle drips that refresh all the life. Just as the scorching heat dries out all life, the relationship is threatened by opposing forces that do not approve of the two being together. When boy and girl grow towards each other, life returns.

Both solo and in group, the young dancers seek to express their tender and strong feelings in movement. Particularly moving was the scene where the deaf boy seeks to express his love, but stumbles in sign language. Pointing fingers become screens that open and fold. Ultimately the lovers find shelter under one umbrella and in each other’s arms.

Choreography: Warren Randell Wilskut
Photography: CuePix/ Jodi Van Vuuren – National Arts Festival 2016