HIFA Day 6

8 05 2008

It’s a free day. Well, I don’t need to earn my keep so I can see whatever I like. I go into work in the morning and do other things. In the afternoon I go and see the John/Allen Project – Unruly Twist (why can’t these artistic types just write their names like the rest of us?). It is contemporary dance and I don’t understand it. Everybody else says how clever it was so I am glad I don’t have to review it and show that I am clueless. I suppose it must have been good. I do admire their creativity, how they think of these things is beyond me. The programme warns that the show “contains nudity”. It doesn’t. There is one act where a guy in a G string “dances” in a pile of what looks like metal off-cuts but he is not naked. There is also a disturbing grainy monochrome film of a man and woman dancing in a field – it ends with him walking into a river and disappearing under water. She looks on disinterestedly. Odd. Later I ask a friend who used to dance professionally if this style of dance is meant to be understood. She says no, not really, and I feel better.

Tokoloshe Come and Go is a humorous almost Monty Pythonesque show by two young South Africans on their first foray out of South Africa. I chatted to one a couple of nights ago and he was ecstatic about HIFA. I have to agree that the “vibe” is great. Everybody is excited and chats to everybody; I was even approached by a street kid who asked if I could get him tickets. I was not sure if he wanted to see a show or he wanted to sell the tickets.

They tell the story of a mythical Zulu village and a quest that a young warrior has to undertake to win the hand of his modern day maiden. It is silly, irreverent stuff and goes down well with the audience of all colours and ages.

I am supposed to go to the closing show of Oliver Mutukudzi but decide to give it a miss. Once again I am put off by the large crowds and my knee is giving me hell sitting down; what it would be like for over an hour standing I don’t want to know.

Someone tries to pick my pocket on the way out.



2 responses

12 05 2008
Juan Carlos Claudio

John/Allen Project was an eclectic group of professional dancer/choreographers presenting works about vulnerabilities of humanity and the different facets of human interactions. The work with the solo dancer in the silverware (MEAT) was a metaphoric work about the objectification of the body, the body as product, the body for consumption the as meat. Unfortunately the work had to be done in g-string due to prior shows in which the audience in Harare were less exposed to nudity. I think the audience would have disrupt the show by seeing the solo in full nudity. Modern dance is the art of interpretation, seat, enjoy and let the mind interpret what it needs to interpret. Its not very hard to do.

15 05 2008

Well there you go! Someone who obviously knows more than I (not difficult when it comes to contemporary dance). I did make the mistake of calling it “modern” dance in front of an ex-dancer. She corrected me very quickly. Modern dance is the 70’s style.

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