Sonder Jou

SOJO_AT_30JUNE16_003Seen on July 2, 2016 @ National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

Suprises come in many ways at the festival. Whilst enjoying a fantastic jazz concert we were asked about our plans for later that evening. The offer was two free tickets for Sonder Jou. Abi and Cobus Wiese are newcomers at the festival and wanted people to see their performance.

Sonder Jou (without you), I am not who I am. This intrinsic desire for relationship runs as theme throughout the performance where items are passed to a next scene and become part of the story of another person. Sterlings that cling together in majectic flights, without knowing each others thousands of individual birds form a spectacular force in the air. Cobus and Abi dance, sing and play their way, weaving verbal and non-verbal images of isolation: a bench reminding of Forest Gump, the lady and the birds of Mary Poppins, an imaginary friend in hot air balloon chasing hippos, a couple tenderly falling in love, the unability to bear the responsibility of fatherhood, a single mother nursing her child, finding a loved one hanging on a rope. Vivid images of lonelineness and isolation that are magnificently interpreted in dance. Different stories culminating in a personal story of a South African boy hating rugby, but finding his home in dance dealing with the cold shoulders, murmured comments and silenced conversations. When you see Cobus dance you enter the place it is coming from. His body tells a story. Sonder Jou I am not.

Photography: CuePix/ Aaliyah Tshabalala – National Arts Festival 2016