Festival of South African Dance: Stmela the Musical

When:11/02/2017 (7:00 pm)
Where: Jesse Auditorium, Columbia, MO
Contact: University Concert Series
Website: http://concertseries.missouri.edu/concert/festivalofsouthafricandance

This spectacular show features both the gumboots and pantsula dance companies, combining these unique South African dance cultures for an amazing performance.

Real Actions Pantsula was established in 1992 by Sello Reuben Modiga. One of Modiga’s missions, as director and choreographer of the group, is to take South Africa’s youth off the street in an effort to give them a life free from the harmful influence of their community through the power of dance.

The group’s choreography consists of quick, syncopated stepping usually set to modern pop, electronic, techno, or deep house music. Historically, Pantsula dancing would evoke certain political overtones, speaking out against the Apartheid government, socio-economic injustice in South Africa, and even the AIDS epidemic.

Gumboot dancing, also known as “Isicathulo”, was conceived by South African workers in the 1880’s. As an art form, Gumboot dancing uses the same methods of body articulation in a polyrhythmic pattern while wearing Wellington gumboots, reminiscent of the way the miners would move their chains to communicate. Today, the dance exists as a strong symbol of South African history and culture, used in routines on the streets and plazas of tourist areas in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Thapelo Motluong mission as a playwright is to preserve and restores the South African tradition while sharing South African art forms, like Gumboot dancing, with the world.