PANTSULA MOVES THE PEOPLE

DANCING WITH RHYTHM: The Pantsula Guys. 30/05/2010. © Sowetan.
DANCING WITH RHYTHM: The Pantsula Guys. 30/05/2010. © Sowetan.

THEY came, they jived and they impressed everyone who was there when Gauteng's first pantsula festival was launched recently with great fanfare.

THEY came, they jived and they impressed everyone who was there when Gauteng's first pantsula festival was launched recently with great fanfare.

After setting alight the Vaal and the Market Theatre Laboratory in Newtown, Johannesburg, the Gauteng Mapantsula Festival moved to Bronkhorstspruit, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand.

Pantsula fever gripped the people and reignited interest in this township dance form among residents, especially the youth.

The Southern African Theatre Initiative's Dance Unit, the State Theatre and Junxion Art Consulting, in partnership with Ruff Kutz Media and the Mapantsula Collabo (led by the Via Katlehong dance group) launched the festival in order to find the top five dance groups from each area.

The movement maestros will then go through to the finals, which will be held at the State Theatre in Pretoria from June 25 to 27.

After this very successful provincial showcase and talent search a national festival is also on the cards, the excited organisers said.

Celebrating this distinctively African dance form, while giving the province's budding mapantsula an opportunity to showcase their skills, attitude and talent, the Gauteng Mapantsula Festival is set to be an annual event.

Pantsula became a popular dance form in the 1980s among youths in the the townships, but was tainted because it was associated with tsotsis.

The Gauteng Mapantsula Festival aims to bring the dance form back into the spotlight by emphasising the positive energy that embodies the dance and promoting it as a symbol of the aspirations and attitudes of 21st century South African youth.

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