Umoya WoMzanzi

(Spirit of the South)

Choreography: Alfred Hinkel
Music: René Avenant
Costume design: Michael Mitchell
Photography: Gordon McAllister

Commissioned by the PG Group for its centenary

Passionate and dazzling, the swirling movements and uplifting gestures symbolise an optimistic and enlightened future. An eclectic mix of music draws from different aspects of South African culture; the strains of Senzenina (What have we done), a prayer out of the anti-apartheid struggle, are interwoven with those of a popular Federasie van Taal en Kultuur song, Die Lied van Jong Suid Afrika.

Umoya WoMzansi acknowledges the past and looks to the future. It's an extension of Hinkel's exploration of Zulu dance and rhythms, with dancers dressed in lush blue velvet gowns, slit skirts ruched high on the hip. When they lift a leg for an indlamu flick kick they stamp up jewels of colour. When they leap across the floor or are lifted into the air, they set off whirling rainbows. Voluptuous rhythmic cartography begins with soft arm weaves flowing from the fingertips mapped into and onto the body.

"Jazzart's distinctive style at its sparkling best. Beautifully lyrical, flowing piece incorporating a variety of dance styles."
Gill Lord, Tonight entertainment supplement, December 18, 1997