The Stable Theatre will present a special programme of dance and poetry on Saturday 25 August as part of Women’s Month. The event will be held in honour of two leading women artists, Neliswa Rushualang and Ntombi Gasa of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, who are recognised as major award-winning role players in the Durban dance scene and beyond.
The programme will feature two dance pieces themed around women’s issues, one titled Imbokodo
, by the award-winning choreographer Mduduzi Mtshali, the other a new work choreographed by Rushualang, titled Nokosozana
Spearheaded by celebrity emcee for the day, Zanda Mthembu from Gagasi FM
, the Stable Theatre’s programme, which will start at 13:00, should finish at 17:00, and will also include poetry from Xoli Vilakazi, as well as participation of Omama Besgeke as part of entertainment line-up.Imbokodo
is a contemporary dance piece that has received favourable response from the theatre dance industry of Durban and Dance Umbrella
2012 in Johannesburg. It is choreographed by Durban-based choreographer, Mdu Mtshali, and will be performed by second year students from the Durban University of Technology’s Drama department, specializing in Theatre Dance.
The performance features six females who portray the role of victims and two men, who portray the role of an abuser, and the show deals with issues of women abuse; the main concept being rape. “Women abuse has become a norm and even a joke,” says Mtshali.
“It is being taken lightly so much so that even government does not fully intervene or provide the solution. Women living in rural areas suffer the most because hospitals and police stations where they can get help are not easily accessible. The story is however not for the faint hearted. People know and hear about rape but showing rape scenes in the piece will show the true state of a rape victim.”
“Rape victims emerge from the nightmare with physical and emotional trauma, therefore the bold decision to use a screen with a projection of naked woman who has just been sexually violated will portray the ‘reality’ of rape. It will be tastefully done, in the sense that lighting will be smartly used so that the scene is not explicit.”
Some highlights of the performance feature a ‘peeling of the skin’ which symbolises how rape or abuse victims often feel that they need ‘cleansing’ (in the African sense) or psychological treatment to help them rebuild their lives. Imbokodo
also uses poetry and the projected images and text about rape to have a potent effect on the audience to demonstrate ‘closed door’ issues in the sense that abuse often happens behind closed doors.Nkosazana
is choreographed by Neliswa Rushualanga, and will be performed by Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre members, Thando Mbanjwa, Mandisa Ndlovu, Golden Khalala, Serena Hogan and Noxolo Rushualanga. “This piece is about a woman called Nkosazana,” explains choreographer Rushualanga. “The work throws light on her life journey, as well as her kind heart. This woman has so much to offer but can't distribute it at the same time. She guides each generation by offering them different aspects to guide them about life. Even when she finds herself in the deep end she makes sure she doesn't go any deeper.”
Tickets at R50 for Stable Theatre’s Imbokodo Festival
can be booked through Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com