Soweto Dance Theater (South Africa)

Choreographer: Jackie Semela
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The ballet by the Soweto Dance Theatre has some striking similitudes with that of the National Dance Company. These two pieces overlap as much in terms of their diegesis as their aesthetic styles. The South African ballet also expresses an extreme suffering. It opens in an atmosphere of religious ritual. Carried away by the frenetic drum rolls, the dancers also sway in a collective trance movement. Just like the Ghanaian dancers who are floored by a superior force, the seven Soweto Dance Theatre dancers straightaway express a profound pain which they seek to rid themselves of. Which burns them from within, without, however, consuming the vital energy that animates them. Even though the movements are largely based on the traditional Zoulou repertory (of which, the famous dance steps executed by the singer Johnny Clegg), that does not stop the structure of the choreography from resembling a musical, such as West Side Story, at times. Rooted in a South African aesthetic nonetheless, the Soweto Dance Theatre, like the Ghanaian company, aims primarily to continue to perpetuate a cultural heritage.

///Article N° : 5368

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