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Thursday, October 4, 2012


Durban University of Technology’s Drama and Production Studies Department presents the 2012 annual Season of Contemporary Dance entitled COSI…COSI at The Courtyard Theatre.

COSI…COSI is inspired by African Storytelling and the manner in which information was passed from one generation to the next in the absence of written records. This exciting, vibrant production explores oral traditions and the use of themes and values, their narrative structures and plots, their rhythms and styles, their images and metaphors, their artistic and ethical principles.

Prioritizing the social values of the story-telling invoked in oral tradition through dance means transferring the primary means of communication from oral tradition to dance. Dance instinctually evolves as a mode of conveying culture, experience, and values with choreography as a means of transmitting knowledge, wisdom, feelings, and attitudes reminiscent in oral societies. The story remains the same even though the form of communication shifts.

"…it is only the story that can continue beyond the war and the warrior.
It is the story that outlives the sound of war-drums and the exploits of brave fighters.
It is the story . . . that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars
into the spikes of the cactus fence.
The story is our escort; without it, we are blind.
Does the blind man own his escort? No, neither do we the story;
rather it is the story that owns us and directs us."

I will tell you something about stories....They aren't just entertainment...
They are all we fight off illness and death.
You don't have anything if you don't have the stories." --Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (1987)

Traditionally, Africans - as in many cultures - have revered stories and storytellers. Rooting the dance in oral tradition means seeking ancient forms of art to communicate to a nation steeped in an oral tradition vested in music and dance which formed an integral part of communal performance. This season celebrates the rich diversity of: the African continent; African cultures; and living traditions that continue to evolve and flourish today.

COSI….COSI is directed by Dance lecturer Mdu Mtshali and involves all 2nd and 3rd year Theatre Dance specialists showcasing four new works by Durban based choreographers, Mdu Mtshali, Sifiso Khumalo, Neliswa Rushualang and Sifiso Majola.

COSI….COSI runs from October 8 to 12 19h00 in The Courtyard Theatre, Mansfield Road. Tickets R35. For more information or for bookings contact Lebohang Sibisi on 031 373 2194.