Initially created by Alfred Hinkel in Namaqualand with dancers from the Namaqualand Dans Geselskap in 1976, Bolero was his artistic response to the Immorality Act. The juxtaposition of contemporary, classical, African traditional, gumboot, Indian and Mpantsula steps and the magnificent score by Ravel make for a riveting and iconic piece of contemporary South African dance. Since its inception and during the intervening 44 years, every rebirth of Bolero speaks to the current moment and is a response to the prevailing socio-political climate of South Africa and the demographics of the performers. Dance critic, Bruce Denhill’s response to a 2016 performance staged at the Joburg Theatre was that it seemed to be “more about the sheer joy of being talented, beautiful and African than about the politics that inspired it. High-spirited shouting, huge vertical leaps, recognisably local traditions like gum-boot dancing and authentic smiles plastered across everyone’s faces channelled the cast’s joy to the audience, meaning that the latter left with a smile on their collective face.” This version is told using available archival footage, culminating in a lockdown version filmed in O’Kiep.
Choreography: Five generations of South African Dancers
Music: Maurice Ravel
Videographers: Vito Hein and Faroll Coetzee
Archival and Lockdown Footage Editor: Marquen Carstens
Director, Lockdown Choreography: John Linden
Production Manager: Heloine Armstrong
Lockdown Dancers: Byron Klassen, Faroll Coetzee, Jaime-Lee Hine, Lynette du Plessis, Dustin Jannetjies, Christopher Samuels
Storyteller: Alfred Hinkel
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Garage’s John Linden (Choreographer/ Artistic Director) and Alfred Hinkel (Mentor) both have extensive experience that includes 40 years in the Southern Africa theatre business as pioneers/dance teachers/directors, successfully establishing and managing four renowned dance companies (in Namibia, Durban, Cape Town and O’Kiep). They are award winning choreographers who have contributed artistically to the creation of remarkable socially relevant productions, collaborating with heavyweight South African dance and theatre practitioners, and grooming high calibre dancers. The duo have a history of creating meaningful, rewarding employment opportunities for a selected group of people who are being groomed to continue their legacy and Garage’s work. They are reputable for developing the creative skills of individuals from Namaqualand and the broader Southern Africa region.