we wear our wheels with pride and slap your streets with color… we said ‘bonjour’ to satan in 1820…
Choreographer Robyn Orlin grew up in apartheid-torn South Africa. Images of her childhood are burned into her retina. Also those of the young, black Zulu rickshaw drivers who transported white people on their small handcarts through the streets of Durban. What struck her most was not so much the exploitation of human beings by fellow human beings in its rawest form, but the dignity of these rickshaw drivers - dressed in traditional, multi-coloured costumes - who demonstrate creativity and willpower to cope with humiliation. Adorned with plumes, gems, pearls and cow horns, they undermined the dehumanisation to which they were subjected. These toiling men "seemed to dance, the body floating in the air", according to Robyn Orlin.
Sharing her memories with a young generation of South African dancers, she brings a struggle for dignity and equality that expresses artistic and creative self-expression. Orlin created the piece with the six dancers of the company Moving into Dance Mophatong. They are accompanied by phenomenal multi-instrumentalist Yogin Sullaphen and singer Anelisa Stuurman.
Robyn Orlin creates performances at the intersection of visual art, performance and dance. In her controversial, provocative performances, she interweaves the complex post-colonial history of her native South Africa with personal stories. Colourful and critical, always with a touch of wry humour. Moving Into Dance Mophatong Company (MID) is a pioneering dance company in South Africa. Since its foundation, MID has had a major impact on the socio-cultural transformation and economic emancipation of South African youth.