"In all this madness, dance makes us sane. Dance is as precious as love."
TJOVITJO - PROJECT INTRODUCTION
Maverick South African director Vincent Moloi and his team at Puo Pha Productions came across the vibrant dance form termed 'Skhanda' – booming countrywide, an ingenious dance from the townships – and a dance form like no other. They were drawn into a creative collaboration with a local troupe of Skhanda dancers with dreams of turning their passion into a profession.
Through this development project, Puo Pha Productions in partnership with Developing Artists and Spier Films intend to encouraging upward mobility in this troupe of township dancers and in the process develop a theatrical show which will raise awareness of the form and open doors for many others to follow in their footsteps.
Dance is a form of expression which allows individuals to transcend the harsh spaces they inhabit in their everyday lives and the only resource you need is your body - which costs nothing. Through various creative mediums (a theatrical show, documentary and feature film) we intend to showcase the powerful spirit of emotional survival which drives these dancers from a poverty-ridden environment.
Creatively, we plan to use the workshop to build a narrative in a classic Romeo + Juliet or West Side Story format that showcases these unique and highly energetic dance forms for international audiences who have never seen them before.
What we have is a dedicated troop of actors and dancers who will work very closely with the directors and writers to come up with an authentic story that will, at a much later stage, be translated into a professional screenplay for a feature film.
This project comprises of three creative products which will be developed alongside each other and focus on building the skills of various types of Artists and their supporters from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa:
1. THEATRICAL SHOW
A narrative and dance production to be performed on stage in South Africa with the potential for an international tour depending on success.
A documentary which follows the process of creating the show and the feature film and uncovers the lives of the individual dancers and artists involved. This project is already underway.
3. THEATRICAL FEATURE FILM
A feature film to be developed during this process as an adaptation of the theatrical show, to be filmed with the same dancers and financed for production by Spier Films through the conventional film market.
The aim of the project, planned for 2017, is to build a structure which leaves behind a sustainable legacy.