We wear our wheels with pride…
Wild child of South African dance, Robyn Orlin reveals the complex reality of her country through several of her works. Like a memorial, her new creation highlights the multifaceted story of the Zulu rickshaw drivers during the apartheid era.
It all began with a childhood memory – rickshaw drivers jolting down the streets of Durban, their body almost hanging in the air. Dressed in tunics with pearl-embroidered trims evoking traditional Zulu motifs and topped with breath-taking hats covered in feathers, seeds, and cow horns, the cart drivers who have now become a tourist attraction used to compete with inventiveness to customise their rides – as many symbols of power as tell-tale markers of their status as beasts of burden.
Six talented dancers give life to the elegance and solidarity of these men, while unveiling the other side of the story: their fighting spirit and refusal to compromise on human dignity in a context of oppression and deep-rooted inequalities.