Via Katlehong Dance at Danse l’Afrique Danse!

Via Katlehong Dance opened festivities at Soweto Theatre for the Danse l’Afrique Danse!

Photo credit John Hogg

The programme notes say:

“Created to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the abolition of apartheid, the entire history of segregation is displayed for us to see through Nkululeko, etched on the very bodies of the dancers. The company takes its name from a mythical district of the East Rand, where unemployment and crime reigned in the 1960s and 70s. This was where the pantsula culture was born, covering fashion, music, dance, gestural codes… and carrying a wave of protest. Via Katlehong echoes this.

Pantsula dance reflects the latent violence of South African politics. Its land of origin is the street. Its firepower: the feet! With virtuoso skill it uses tap (percussive dancing with metal-bottomed shoes), step (a style of tap similar to the American time step) and the gumboot, a miners’ dance based on clapping the hands on the thighs and calves.

Photo credit John Hogg

This is a dance of reaction to oppression, unleashing a mad energy. This biting dance, conducted in unison, its prowess inciting our enthusiasm, tells us that, even if the fight is not over, we can still celebrate ten – and even twenty – years of freedom!”

The performance was energetic and passionate, and the scene recreating the various riots wherein someone was shot by the police and the rioters were horrified at what had happened was very touching. The emotive funeral thereafter with the singing of Nkosi Sikele Afrika (the hymn, not the national anthem) continued the moments of pathos.

I enjoy watching gumboot dancing and pantsula just for the rthymic beauty of the dance and where it tells out a relevant story it is even better.

Photo credit John Hogg

The choreography was a group effort and the dancers were Vusi Mdoyi, Steven Faleni, Buru Mohlabane, Vuyani Feni, John Moloi, Mpho Malotana, Mokholo Motshele, Thato Qofela, Tshepo Nchabeleng, Xolani Qwabe. David Hlatshwayo was the technical director.

Danse l’Afrique Danse! Festival is taking place in Johannesburg from September 28 to October 7, 2012 at the new Soweto theatre, Market Theatre, Wits Theatre, Wits Art Museum and the Dance Factory. It is part of the France-South Africa Season. For further information on Danse l’Afrique danse! – the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013, please contact Dance Forum at 011 492 0709 / 2033 or e-mail or visit

The Danse l’Afrique danse programme can be downloaded at

Photo credit John Hogg

Forthcoming attractions:

(Google them if you are interested – I don’t do the bookings, nor do I get any “cut” out of the bookings).

Danse Afrique Danse! A festival of contemporary dance from 28 September to 7 October 2012. 42 different dance works from all over Africa. Tickets at only R20 per performance.
Gilan Gork, Beyond the Mind at Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on 4 & 5 October at 20:00
Marc Lottering – I don’t work on Sundays at The Studio, Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre until 7 October 2012
The Blue Iris at The Market Theatre until 7 October 2012
Peter Rabbit at People’s Theatre until 7 October 2012
Dalliances PG16SNL at UJ Con Cowan Theatre, Bunting Road from 9 to 13 October 2012
Pieter Grobler, pianist, at Wits School of Arts on 9 October 2012
Goggas at National Children’s Theatre until 13 October 2012
Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist at the Victory Theatre from 8 to 14 October 2012
Standard Bank’s 150th year exhibition at the Standard Bank Gallery from 16 October to 1 December 2012
BTE VO1SS Spring Dinner Concert at Blue Diamond Boutique hotel on 26 October 2012
Dangerous Liaisons at UJ Arts Centre from 18 to 27 October 2012
BTE VO1SS Sunday Morning Concert: The Magic of the Musicals on the Drama stage at the State Theatre, Pretoria on 28 October 2012
Kat & the Kings at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Main Theatre from 20 September to 18 November 2012
BTE VO1SS Christmas Concert at Linder Auditorium on 30 November 2012
BTE VO1SS Christmas Concert in the Park, Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens on 1 December 2012
BTE VO1SS Christmas Concert in the Park, Pretoria Botanical Gardens on 8 December 2012
The Little Mermaid at People’s Theatre from 5 November to 23 December 2012
The International Exhibition of Black Music at MuseuMAfrika until 12 December 2012
Demis Roussos Tour of South Africa 8 to 15 December 2012
Taps Dogs at the Teatro, Montecasino from 12 February 2013 to 10 March 2013

About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
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