African Gumbo 2018

3 May 2018 - 22:30

Conceived and Directed by Maxwell Xolani Rani

African Gumbo is about celebrating Africa as a continent and its dynamic influences in the modern world through African and African Diaspora dances staged with 21st century interpretations. The month of May is celebrated as Africa month and it is an important event in the history of Africa. 25th of May signifies the rejection of colonial and imperial domination in the continent. African Gumbo explores materials of decolonisation by focusing on telling Africa’s stories which are written by themselves and owned by themselves. This means ‘writing back’ against the ongoing colonialism and colonial mentalities that permeate our ways of being, education, media, government policies, and ‘common sense’. African Gumbo celebrates such a cause, through dance, African music, African cuisine and scholarly discussions in a resistive Nubian way…

African Gumbo is presented at the Dance Theatre Studio, Lower Campus

Saturday 5 May

A selection of African cuisine will be available from 17h30 followed by 8 distinct dance performances:

1.Title: Sisuka Kude

Choreographer: Maxwell Xolani Rani

Music: Buleria Al Golpe (Kentaro & Koiro) Viajelo Del Alma

Dancers: Robyn Settler, Nomxolisi Zimba, Michail Labans, Tameca Marney, Bernelee Fortuin, Bronwyn Adams, Chamonay Anthony, Carla Scholtz, Nuske George, Tyra Petersen, Donnlyn Fischer.

Synopsis: The piece is about a journey towards freedom. Based on the tales of slavery the piece reveals that the road to emancipation is never a tranquil one.

2.Title: Bubble Beat Gum- BBG

Choreographer: Zakhele Nkosi

Musicians:  Andile Kraai and Maxwell Xolani Rani

Dancers: Bjorn Cupido, Donlynn Fischer, Ndapandula Lukas, Ngobunono Mtshabe, Nyeleti Chauke, Olebogeng Khumalo, Starr Jacobs, Taahier Ebrahim and Tyra Petersen.

Synopsis: The piece is a “cocktail” of a Gumboot dance, originating from the Mine Shafts of South Africa, twirled with Kwaito Kasi lifestyle, and all interwoven with discipline on Zen from the Far East. “Bubble Beat Gum” also challenges stigma and stereotype around the issues of Men only workers enlisted to the trenches of the Mines. It serves to burst all those bubbles in our society, which remain a vided and contested issue around woman empowerment. African drumming, percussion and vocalization encompass the dance vocabulary.

3. Title: Beyond Movement is Language in Spirit!!

Choreographer: Silumko Koyana

Accompanist: Silumko Koyana and Jongi Monatsi

Dancers: Caylin Daames, Sive Gayika, Wiaam Jacobs, Nthabeleng Jafta, Shaney Julie, Thandeka Kakaza, Unathi Makhambi, Pamela Mngxekeza, Brent Pienaar, Nicole Rinquest, Remonde September, Robyn-Dee Van Neel, Caaylin Daames

4.Title: Bele

Choreographer: Lisa Wilson

Accompanist: Jongi Monatsi and Andile Kraai

Singers: Lisa Wilson, Nyeleti Chauke, Taahier Ebrahim

Dancers: Carla Scholtz, Bernelee Fortuin, Bronwyn Adams, Tameca Marney, Abegail McKenzie, and Tyra Peterson.

Synopsis: Bele is an elegant folk dance that expresses the rich mix of French and African influences in creolized Caribbean life. It is danced at festivities throughout the French Caribbean

5.Title: Zulu Dance Umzan(t)si Style- Umzansi

Choreographer: Maxwell Xolani Rani

Dancers: Exchange Students

Accompanist: Andile Kraai and Jongi Monatsi

Synopsis: Celebrating Zulu dance, a build up from Pan African movements to the dance itself. Umzan (t) si -Umzansi Zulu dance is often characterized as an “ancient war dance” of the Zulu people, a “warrior nation”. While dancers celebrate imperial Zulu history and the prominent role that song and dance played in that history, Umzansi developed through a history of migrant labor in the 20th century. Umzansi, the most dramatic of the Zulu ngoma styles, draws in part on the idea of the dancer as warrior.

6. Title: Uyandi cingela

Choreographer: Maxwell Xolani Rani

Musician: Brandenburg- Black Violin

Dancers: Robyn Settler, Nomxolisi Zimba, Michail Labans, Tameca Marney, Bernelee Fortuin, Bronwyn Adams, Chamonay Anthony and Genna Kritzinger.

Synopsis: The piece is inspired by the “invincible black violin music”; I smile when I listen to this piece of music because I know I’ll completely pressure people’s perceptions of not only what a violin can do; or what music can possibly sound like, but also of what a black man is capable of – is capable of – is capable of when listening to such sound of music.

7.Title: Ritual

Choreographer: Maxwell Xolani Rani

Accompanist: Mandla Lande, Andile Kraai and Jongi Monatsi

Dancers: Tyra Petersen, Taahier Ebrahim, Ngobunono Mtshabe, Starr Jacobs, Pamela Mngxekeza, Thandeka Kakaza, Sive Gaika, Unathi Makhambi, Ndapandula Lukas and Nyeleti Chauke.

Synopsis: This piece commemorates and offer a window of opportunity to witness a theatrical interpretation of a dance ritual which is a set of actions or words performed in a regular way, often as part of a conscientious ceremony. A dance ritual is also any act done regularly either be a class structure or performance.

8.Title: Township Groove (Gqomified Mswenko)

Choreographer: Maxwell Xolani Rani

Music: Afro Sound- Igqom lase Cape

Dancers: Robyn Settler, Nomxolisi Zimba, Michail Labans, Tameca Marney, Bernelee Fortuin, Bronwyn Adams, Chamonay Anthony.

Synopsis: We celebrate Gqom dance musical art form derived from the Townships, a distinctive form of club music that’s been brewing in Durban, South Africa for the last several years. Hyper dub label founder Kode9 says Gqom is, “like being suspended over the gravitational field of a black hole, and loving it.” Gqom fits neatly into the house music family tree as a cousin of Kwaito, a fusion of house and African samples that developed in Johannesburg in the 1990s.