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SCENE IT: Challenging stereotypes through the power of dance... UFUNDO!

Barbara Loots


A few years ago the lovely theatre PR, Christine Skinner, introduced me to the dancing magic that the JazzArt Dance Theatre company produces. I rarely miss one of their productions, and always walk out feeling absolutely inspired. So, obviously I was ready to be greatly entertained by their production Ufundo at the Artscape Theatre when I walked in for their opening night show.

I was more than entertained! I sat there with my mouth open, gawking at the powerful movements that filled the stage. The opening scene, a dark stage with the follow spot highlighting a solitary figure who then starts moving to the rhythm so beautifully that he takes your breath away… Why? Because his every action oozes power, confidence, … dance to the extreme. That solitary figure who is Zama Sonjica owns the stage with his whole body… but no legs. Zama, a wheelchair performer, captured my dance loving attention with his movement and his commitment to the art, proving that rhythm does not reside in one’s feet, but beats through the heart when someone has purpose and passion. His duet, later in the production, with the magnificent dancing diva Thabisa Dinga was another beautiful highlight. As always, a favourite dancer of mine, Andile Vellem also showed that you don’t have to hear the music with your ears to have it dancing through your soul. Truly inspirational! And wow, that sign dance scene right at the end… still makes me pause and reflect on its powerful beauty even now, just thinking back… Bravo to all the dancers, you truly embrace the power of the art and your talent is undeniable. Ufundo is a collaboration piece between Unmute Dance Company and JazzArts, and through dance challenges stereotypes. It showcases everything from abusive relationships to prejudices, but also places the spotlight on hope, personal power and the strong internal drive to never give up. The show only runs until Saturday, 12 September 2015, but it is so worth reshuffling your weekend schedule to go see it that you just have to book your tickets at Computicket right now this very second. Don’t miss out on the powerful, dance theatre experience that is the beautifully inspirational Ufundo!

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