A feast of explosive dance and rousing rhythms from the townships
‘A crushing performance, extremely dynamic, intense, with a great driving rhythm’ (Theaterkrant). After seeing Via Katlehong Dance at Julidans 2018, the critics made no bones about it: anyone who goes to see a show by this dance group from the South African townships is in for a theatrical experience that will linger in the mind for a long time.
Run time 60 minutes
Location Theater Bellevue
Venue Grote Zaal
In its thirty years of existence, Via Katlehong Dance has grown into a worldwide festival hit. For the latest creation, Via Injabulo, the dance group entered into a collaboration with two leading European dance makers, Amala Dianor and Marco da Silva Ferreira. Both made a work of their own for which they made eager use of the immense potential of Via Katlehong: the infectious dancing pleasure of the eight dancers and the pulsating rhythms from the townships.
Via Katlehong Dance is named after the township in South Africa's East Rand where it began as a community project in 1992. Young people are challenged to express their hard lives through their music and dance. With a message of unmistakable optimism: a better world is possible.
The basis is formed by the pantsula, an ultra-energetic dance that came into existence during the apartheid regime. Via Katlehong's strength is that the group innovatively combines the pantsula with other dances, such as tap, step and gumboot, the 'miner's dance' based on hitting the thighs and calves. -|-
But the pantsula is much more than just dance; it is a lifestyle encapsulated in fashion, music, gesture codes and language with which the youth of the townships identify and express themselves.
For the first work in Via Injabulo, førm Inførms, Marco da Silva Ferreira explores the meaning of dance in the social context, how it can lead to a collective identity. Pantsula, house dance and other street dance styles are shaken into a cocktail of pulsating energy. In Emaphakathini, Franco-Senegalese choreographer Amala Dianor draws on the personal histories of the performers to pull down boundaries between people and dance disciplines. The aim is to create a common new space, an 'in-between space', or Emaphakathini in Zulu.
The result is one big feast of rousing rhythms and shared energy. Shouting, whistling, stamping your feet, clapping your hands: everyone can join in. In fact, it is impossible to remain sitting on your chair.
de Volkskrant about Via Kanana (Julidans 2018)
'(...) the head rolls, tap dance, body percussion and foot rolls not only carry an explicit, readable and honest message, but also a hint of hope.'
First part Amala Dianor
Second part Marco Da Silva Ferreira
dancers Thulisile Binda, Julia Burnhams, Katleho Lekhula, Lungile Mahlangu, TshepoMohlabane, Kgadi Motsoane, Thato Qofela and Abel Vilakazi
light design Cárin Geada
stage management Alexander Farmer
project directors Buru Mohlabane and Steven Faleni (Via Katlehong)
booking Damien Valette
coordination Louise Bailly
productionVia Katlehong Dance, Damien Valette Prod
co-productions (in progress) Maison de la Danse - Lyon, Théâtre de la Ville - Paris, ChaillotThéâtre National de la Danse, Festival DDD - Teatro Municipal do Porto, Le Grand T - Théâtre deLoire Atlantique, Créteil - Maison des Arts, Festival d'Avignon
thanks to the City of Ekurhuleni Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Department