The Studio, an Ubom! initiative co-ordinated by Janet Buckland and Sarah Roberson, provides a platform for Eastern Cape artists to spread their message using dance and drama.
The Road to Success is an example of everything The Studio aims to produce – an expression of culture, a focus on pertinent social issues and a jive that has your heart beating in time.
The Road to Successwas directed and written by Ubom! director Brink Scholtz, who scripted the narrative while all the pantsula dance moves were choreographed by the cast members.
Actor Siyabonga Bawuti said the production is about “a vandalised dream, and a look at what happens when plans go wrong.”
It may sound all doom and gloom, but the story is typical of a situation faced by many South Africans, except we can’t all be as vivacious and astounding with our dance moves as this cast is.
The form of pantsula in this production is unique to Grahamstown. Assistant director Ayanda Nondlwana said they researched different types of pantsula from all over the Eastern Cape and Johannesburg “and made a combination”.
Scholtz said he was amazed by the speed at which the cast worked, choreographing a new scene in less than a day, but they each had around six years experience of doing the jive, and the work ethic of professionals.
Scholtz said a great deal of trust was needed to produce the final product: “I know little about the dancing and the cast had to be trained in acting. We had to rely on each other and work together, as a collaborative.”
“Siyabangena, come watch us,” said dancer Siyabonga Ngeleza.
The cast members’ enthusiasm for their new-found talent is evident in their acting performance; however the up-close and energetic dance moves are the real highlight of the play.
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