Finally, South African theatre that deals with issues distinctive to South Africa.
Central University of Technology presents the dance The Light at City Hall venue in Grahamstown on 9 July 2015; at the 2015 National Arts Festival. A story about an aspiring dancer who falls into a dark path for money and links with a dangerous illegal mining industry. (Photo: CUEPIX/Niamh Walsh-Vorster)
The Light, a musical-theatre work presented by 17 actors from Central University of Technology in the Free State, is an exuberant exploration of the world of illegal miners, or “zama zamas”.
Dieketseng wants to be a dancer, but she can’t afford the fees. In an attempt to gather the funds together, she seeks work on the mines. She is soon drawn into a world of illegal mining, along with her friend, Chizzy, and falls into prostitution.
This dark world is explored through the telling of personal stories of hardship. People believe that closed mines still have minerals for the taking and desperation forces them to go down into them.
The large cast, along with a drummer, do all the work necessary for setting the scene. No props are needed, as the actors manage to use their bodies to create objects, scenes and narrative.
This high-energy performance, filled with song and dance, sheds light on an important, but often neglected, issue in our country. It depicts moral dilemmas, as characters try to find their way through the corruption and utter devastation of the underground mining scene.
There are few happy endings in this piece, that depicts the reality of people’s lives falling apart in the search to earn a living.
Cue student reporter
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