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Edinburgh Fringe 2018

SOWhEreTO Africa

Njobo Productions (FKA After Freedom Productions) and African Connections CIC

Genre: Dance, World Music

Venue: Dance Base


Low Down

Old and new beats meet performance poetry paying tribute to South Africa’s legends. Experience the sounds and rhythms of the South African street life, with its contagious energy and invigorating vibes, through an everyman’s daily journey.


Rhythmic movement and fluid energy fill the space when six performers move across the stage. Music is melodic at first and gains momentum and volume in the progression of the show. The dances include tribal Zulu, Tswana, Sotho, the Gumboot dance and modern Shangaan Electro, Sbujwa and Pantsula styles.

The cast performs continuously, fully invested in sharing their love of dance and their culture from South Africa. Changing pace and genre of dance movement these six dancers exchange glances, and grins break out into joyous smiles. They seem like family and exude wonder and awe in performing together. This transfers to the audience and you cannot help but smile!

The group tells their story by song, poetry, dance, live music and projections. This show pays tribute to the centenary of Nelson Mandela. Spoken word mentions Apartheid and how lives were severely limited then the group acts out short scenes – such as one reading newspapers and suffering hardship.

Sometimes they chant while doing every day activities – in Gumboots! In this substantial section of the show the dancers show their skills and virtuosity with precision footwork, stomping, jumping and slapping their boots to make sound, which is very effective.

What is fascinating is how happy they are and interact as friends in this dynamic performance. They play off each other in their song stories, and each has a turn to show their specialty as they inject humour in their eccentric moves. Even if speaking their language the cast emotes so well that it’s easy to understand what’s happening. A lead singer starts a song and everyone joins in slapping their bodies like a percussive hambone style dance. It’s a high-energy moment and includes all the dancers. Lighting from above adds to the energy when the colours change rapidly, like a vibrant party.

Using minimal props these dancers create a world and atmosphere of their country that is entertaining, creative and moving. Masks and shower caps cleverly become the start of a new scene as they are quick footed across the space. Next the mood changes to spoken poetry, heartfelt with underscore of music – then breaks out into fast dancing, to a beautiful ending.

This show is full of rhythm, dance and joy!