Media statement by Professor Debbie Lutge, HOD – Drama & Production Studies
Durban University of Technology Drama Studies students are set to participate in the Dance Umbrella 2012 where they are expected to share the stage with South African, African and international artists.
The performance that the collaboration of eight third year Drama Studies students and two graduates, one from DUT and the other from the University of KwaZulu-Natal are taking to Johannesburg is called “Imbokodo”. Choreographed by DUT alumnus and DUT Drama Studies Dance Lecturer Mdu Mtshali, the performance deals with women abuse; the main concept being rape.
“I chose the concept because women abuse has become a norm and even a joke. It is being taken lightly so much so that even government does not fully intervene or provide the solution. Women living in rural areas suffer the most because hospitals and police stations where they can get help are not easily accessible,” said Mtshali.
The performance revolves around one man who portrays the role of an abuser.
The story is however not for the faint hearted. It kicks off with a naked female who has just been raped. Mtshali said rape victims emerge from the nightmare with physical and emotional trauma, adding that the bold decision to show a naked woman who has just been sexually violated would portray the “reality” of rape.
“People know and hear about rape but showing a naked person, who has just endured the ordeal of rape, is more powerful. The scene will show the true state of a rape victim. It (the naked scene) will be tastefully done, in the sense that lighting will be smartly used so that the scene is not explicit,” he said.
The performance will also feature a “peeling of the skin” which symbolises how rape or abuse victims often feel that they need “cleansing” (in the African sense) or psychological treatment to help them rebuild their lives. “Imbokodo” also uses poetry and projected images and text about rape.
“The images will show ‘closed door’ issues in the sense that abuse often happens behind closed doors. The images will also have a potent effect on the audience,” he said.
All the female performers will wear red night dresses while the male performer will be dressed formally.
Note to Editors
The students will perform in Durban before leaving for the Dance Umbrella 2012 on Sunday, 19 February 2012. Details of the Durban performance are as follows:
Date: Thursday, 16 February 2012
Venue: The Courtyard Theatre, DUT’s Ritson Campus, Steve Biko Road
For further comment kindly contact Dance Lecturer Mdu Mtshali on 084 098 0583.
Cast members are as follows:
Zinhle April Khanyile
Kindly note that we are still tracking down cell phone numbers for the two remaining cast members. These will be sent to you once we get hold of them.
Durban University of Technology
031 373 2845