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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


(A scene from “Imbokodo” – pic by Val Adamson)

Durban’s Stable Theatre will present a special programme of dance and poetry on August 25. The event will be held as part of Women’s month, and will honour two leading women artists, Neliswa Rushualang and Ntombi Gasa of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, who are recognised as major award-winning role players in the Durban dance scene and beyond.

The programme will feature two dance pieces themed around women’s issues, one entitled Imbokodo, by the award-winning choreographer Mduduzi Mtshali, the other choreographed by Rushualang, entitled Nkosazana.

Spearheaded by celebrity MC for the day, Zanda Mthembu from Igagasi FM, the entertainment line-up will also include poetry from Xoli Vilakazi, as well as the participation of Omama Besgeke.

Imbokodo is a contemporary dance piece that has received favourable response from the Durban theatre dance industry as well as at Dance Umbrella 2012 in Johannesburg. It will be performed by 2nd year students of the Durban University of Technology’s Drama Department, specializing in Theatre Dance.

The performance features six females who take the role of victims and two men, who portray the role of an abuser. The show deals with issues of women abuse; the main concept being rape.

“Women abuse has become a norm and even a joke,” says Mtshali. “It is being taken lightly so much so that even government does not fully intervene or provide the solution. Women living in rural areas suffer the most because hospitals and police stations where they can get help are not easily accessible.

However, the story is not for the faint hearted. A screen with a projection of naked woman who has just been sexually violated will portray the ‘reality’ of rape. It promises to be tastefully handled with skilful lighting so as to be less explicit.

Some highlights of the performance feature a ‘peeling of the skin’ which symbolises how rape or abuse victims often feel that they need “cleansing” (in the African sense) or psychological treatment to help them rebuilt their lives. Imbokodo also uses poetry and the projected images and text about rape to have a potent effect on the audience to demonstrate ‘closed door’ issues in the sense that abuse often happens behind closed doors.

Nkosazana, choreographed by Rushualang will be performed by Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, featuring Thando Mbanjwa, Mandisa Ndlovu, Golden Khalala, Serena Hogan and Noxolo Rushualang.

“This piece is a piece about a woman called Nkosazana,” Rushualang explains. “The piece explains her life journey as well as her kind heart. This woman has so much to offer but can't distribute it at the same time. She guides each generation by offering them different aspects to guide them about life. Even when she finds herself in the deep end she makes sure she doesn't go any deeper.”

The Imbokodo festival will start at 13h00 and is expected to finish at 17h00. Tickets at R50 booked through Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at