AN ENCOUNTER WITH FAST FEET, IMPULSES AND VIABILITY

With massive energy, fast feet and raw strength, the dance style Pantsula has developed into a political and social expression for the black population in South African townships. The dance style becomes alive in YEBO YES! and continues to carry its historical energy out along the Swedish roads.

The year was 1950 and South Africa was impregnated by a policy of racial segregation, a political situation which threatened fundamental human rights. A huge dissatisfaction grew as a response to the apartheid government’s deportations – this is when the Pantsula dance style was born. A choreographic language creating a new unified identity, expressing criticism and spreading awareness.

The oppressed population could express their opposition to the regime through dance. With rapid steps across the ground and intricate, rhythmic footwork the dancers demonstrated to the superiority that they were both strong and free. They proved that they had their own style and were ready to stand up for their struggle. Pantsula quickly became not only a dance style but a language and a lifestyle.

In the performance YEBO YES! we meet five dancers, Sibusiso, David and Gugu from South Africa, who all live and breathe Pantsula, and Swedish Theresa and Joanna, choreographers and founders of Afia. Together they show proof of a dance full of energy, joy and power. The production’s electronic music together with the dancers’ voices and rhythmical sounds fills the room with a progressive feeling. The performance is a meeting between freestyle-and the Pantsula culture – a work where the dancers explore the meeting between each other and their cultural expression.

Pantsula retells a story that should never fall into oblivion. The inner powers of the style are brought to life in the meeting with street and freestyle which are the Company’s foundation. Community and playfulness are created in a performance that lingers with you long after the applause have ended.

CREDITS

Choreographers: Joanna Holewa Chrona, Theresa Gustavsson
IsiPantsula choreographer: Sibusiso Mthembu
Dancers: Joanna Holewa Chrona, Theresa Gustavssobn, Gugulethu Mofokeng, David Mokale, Sibusiso Mthembu
Sound: Yared Tilahun Cederlund
Light design: Erik Wiedersheim-Paul
Costume: Victoria Denise Tcha
Production: AFIA
Co-production: Dancenet Sweden, Dansens Hus, Norrlandsoperan
With support from: Swedish Arts Council, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
Residence: Riksteatern, Dansens Hus, Vusi Art Projects
Trailer: André Forsström
Photo: Zivanai Matangi
Photo direction & editor: Noah Cohen
Performance length: 55min

Touring with Dancenet Sweden autumn 2021