Robyn Orlin we wear our wheels with pride and slap your streets with color… we said ‘bonjour’ to satan in 1820…[Dance]
The title of this piece is a homage to the rickshaw drivers of South Africa’s past. Robyn Orlin’s production, in which she invents a ‘rickshaw dance’, is a celebration of dance and song imbibed with a joyous thirst for life. The unyielding strength of resistance that it gives rise to is a tribute to the spirit of the Rainbow Nation.
In South Africa of the 1970’s, at the height of apartheid, its white masters were transported from place to place by Zulu men pulling brightly-coloured rickshaws, a feat requiring a mixture of great strength and dexterity. The young Robyn Orlin, at that time a rebellious, young adolescent observed the ornate decoration of their vehicles and headdresses, as well as their sprightly, dance-like steps. It was around this time that her political convictions began to take shape. The 1970’s also gave rise to the creation of Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM), a dance company nourished by Zulu traditions and a flagship for contemporary dance in South Africa. Today, her work with the troupe from Johannesburg constitutes a return to a common source. Dance, song and costume combine with explosive effect during this encounter the MIDM dancers and the breath-taking singing of Anelisa Stuurman aka Annalyzer, a vocalist and performance artist who has been taking nightclubs by storm from South Africa to Europe. In collaboration with the compositor, Yogin Sullaphen, she has developed a style influenced by slam, local Khoisan tradition and research into new forms of modern music.