The Gatherings, also known as Intlangano, are Grahamstown-based theatre makers. The six men and their choreographer, Nomcebisi Moyikwa, investigate issues of masculinity and identity through the medium of physical theatre.
Masixole Heshu performs in Waltz at the National Arts Festival, in Grahamstown, 07 July 2015. Waltz seeks to excavate and uncover the existence of South Africans in reclaiming their space. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)
Waltz, Intlangano’s devised dance production, is a lyrical exploration of self-discovery. It features little speech and the spoken elements that are present are almost exclusively presented in isiXhosa.
The show begins with a lengthy segment involving one man holding the jacket of another, as if he is acting as a puppeteer to his partner, forcing the man to dance. Faster and faster, the puppet performs the same steps. At times, it appears that his puppeteer will smother him in the ash-grey fabric of his jacket.
The cast attacks the piece with ferocious energy and enthusiasm. On the technical front, the musical accompaniment to the dancing varies in quality and, for much of the show, is almost unbearably loud. The final song is beautiful, but others tend towards deafening monotony. Smangaliso Ngwenya gave a beautiful, elegant performance and was a pleasure to watch as he leapt and glided over the floor. Some of the other performers were far weaker technically and felt extraneous to the action of the piece. The show picks up in the second half, and the final dance is powerful.
Cue Student Reporter
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