Fana Tshabalala, who set the stage alight at Maitisong with his athletic moves when performing his play, “UneÔÇôRupture”, has praised Zulu traditional dance for influencing him to the world of contemporary dance.
Tshabalala says that his love for Zulu traditional dance at an early age inspired him to pursue the world of contemporary dance.
Prior to his performance at Maitisong, the dancer shared his journey into contemporary dance. He dedicated his time for the interview after he displayed his moves during the rehearsal.
His rehearsal was centered around his play, which was characterized with haphazard moves as he tied himself with white ropes while the music composed by French artists Brigitte Fontaine was playing in the background.
He stood at the centre as he tied himself with ropes that came towards him as if a spider trying to make its web.
“Usually I use my performance to communicate. I am a story teller who uses his body to communicate. I am aware that people interpret my performance differently. When I was in France performing this play which involves more energy while I danced and tied myself with ropes they likened the play to slavery,” said Tshabalala.
He said that the ropes that he uses to tie himself with signify the invisible threats that always surround each and every individual.
Tshabalala pointed out that usually people’s freedoms are limited by this invisible threat. He added that people are convinced that they have freedom, but it is limited.
“We are forced to compromise at times because our freedom is limited. You have to go to work even if you want to sleep. You can buy a car but you have challenges ahead such as marriage that need your attention to accomplish,” he said.
He further explained that his play is centered around these invisible threats because it clearly shows that a human being is always held at ransom though there is belief that people have freedom.
Tshabalala said that his solo performance which is characterized by athletic moves and jumping while he ties himself with ropes shows that people’s freedom is there but it is limited.
The dancer emphasized that the contemporary dance is different from Zulu traditional dance because it is more about special technique.
“I use styles and body weight to perform my dance while Zulu traditional dance is in my dance. My body is elastic that I can make any move that I intend to do. Zulu dance inspires me whenever I perform. My contemporary dance is more genuine because the traditional dance is in me,” he said.
Tshabalala, who has toured France and shared the stage with different artists in France, says going into the contemporary dance was not an easy task.
He remembers well that he wanted to quit at one point because he was never exposed to contemporary dance.
The artist also explained that his parents were against his move. He said that they mocked him and even asked him if he has ever seen someone paid for jumping around. The artist is now happy that his parents are able to appreciate what he is doing.
He pointed out that he has held several performances in Johannesburg and added that dance is beginning to be appreciated and Botswana should follow suit because it is a career that most of the youth can make a living from.