Video and text by Derin, Penn-in-Grahamstown student.
Rhythms of Eastern Cape
One of my expectations for this trip was exposure to indigenous South African culture, specifically dance. As we walked over to the venue for this event, I was bursting with excitement, although I wasn’t sure what to expect. The event had already started when we got there. There was a crowd that encircled the performers with some people sitting on the bleachers and some standing. The event was informal so this was held outside. First thing I noticed was the age of the artists. The women were older, some even looked old enough to be my grandmother, while the men looked younger. As some of the men played instruments (guitar, whistle, and a few others), the women would chant, sing and dance. There was a lot of swinging of hips, arm movements, clapping, and stomping. The women moved in unison as a single entity. After a while, they would then change places with the male dancers and proceed to the back of the group. The male dancers would then be in the front dancing. The men used props (horse tail) as they danced and stomped their way across the stage. The performance was quite interesting and I definitely enjoyed it.