Biko's Quest

Director: Mandla Mbothwe

Choreographers: Jacqueline Manyaapelo, Ina Wichterich and Mzokuthula Gasa


Premiered at The Steve Biko Centre, King Williamstown:
28 – 31 August 2012

8 – 16 September 2012 at the Artscape Theatre, Cape Town


Biko’s Quest, a collaboration between Jazzart Dance Theatre and the Steve Biko Foundation


Jazzart Dance Theatre and the Steve Biko Foundation collaborated to produce Biko’s Quest, which enjoyed critical acclaim during its run in Cape Town (September 2012).  

“We have set out on a quest for true humanity, and somewhere on the distant horizon we can see the glittering prize. Let us march forth with courage and determination, drawing strength from our common plight and our brotherhood. In time we shall be in a position to bestow upon South Africa the greatest gift possible-a more human face.” – Biko


Biko’s Quest is a dance theatre production inspired by the Steve Biko Foundation’s exhibition, The Quest for a True Humanity supported by the Department of Education and the Apartheid Museum. The production draws inspiration from the exhibition’s portrayal of Biko’s life and death, translating the exhibition from one art form (photography) to another (dance and performance).


The work takes the audience on a thought-provoking and emotional journey displayed through combining powerful dance, extraordinary singing and moving story-telling.


The production re-visits the contemporary relevance of Steve Biko, his quest for a true humanity and acknowledges the many other people who were held in detention without trial and who died under apartheid.


Biko’s Quest interrogates how far post-apartheid South African society has progressed in becoming a nation with a more human face.

The 80 minute production is told through dance, physical imagery, sound, text and dynamic movement.


Press comments about Biko’s Quest include:
Cape Times ‘This one’s a winner…..powerful, thought-provoking, moving and unforgettable’
The Next 48 Hours ‘a pounding, swirling, rhythmic celebration of humanity... powerful, innovative, sexy dance’ ‘an intensity that I’ve not yet seen rivalled in Cape Town’
Monday Missile ‘....image-rich explosion of music and movement’
Writing Studio ‘A truly proudly South African production that we can boast about … a beautiful story’
TheatreSceneCpt  ‘truly inspirational’  ‘remarkable energy..... mesmerising’


“It is better to die for an idea that will live than to live for an idea that will die” Steve Biko