Dancing the pain of Marikana

Dance production Pre and Post Marikana Massacre. Picture: Harsheen Patel
Dance production Pre and Post Marikana Massacre. Picture: Harsheen Patel

It will forever be one of those tragic and undeniably painful events to scar South Africa’s post-democratic history – the Marikana Massacre of 2012.

Dance production Pre and Post Marikana Massacre, delivered by the Choppa Boys Theatre Club at Centenary Hall on Thursday afternoon, relived the events that led up to that day.

It was as if the grieving widows themselves now sat before the audience, as they held up Rest In Peace signs, with others carrying the helmets of their now deceased husbands.

“How will I go on? My husband used to pay for the school fees?” One widow cried out, as others screamed “iyoh nkosi yami [my lord].”

Pre and Post Marikana Massacre

Directed by Moabi Rateka

Choreographed by: Mogodiseng Lenyatso

Featured cast: Aubrey Seboko, Thabo Maane, Modise Thapelo and Pogiso Kgantsi

Star rating: 4/5

Apart from the striking acting, the production incorporated both contemporary dance as well as a riveting, almost 10-minute gum boot segment that was phenomenal. And still, the actors went on after this high-energy scene.

The male performers, dressed in gum boots, blue overalls and helmets with spades and pick-axes, animated objects through dance – such as a stone-driller, in which one miner “became” a stone-drilling machine, jumping up and down – something that drew a few giggles from the crowd.

The incorporation of dialogue was refreshing, and also stitched together the various scenes. Written from the perspective of the miners and their grieving families, this act definitely sought to invoke emotions and resonate the backlash that the government has continued to receive, six years later. It was an honest, thought provoking and educational piece that was performed by a high-energy and authentic South African cast. It’s worth checking out.

* Performances continue tonight at 8pm and Sunday at 4pm

Dance production Pre and Post Marikana Massacre. Picture: Harsheen Patel
Dance production Pre and Post Marikana Massacre. Picture: Harsheen Patel

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