Robyn Orlin / City Theater & Dance Group
we wear our wheels with pride and slap your
streets with color… we said ‘bonjour’ to satan in 1820…
Roused by memories of her own childhood in Durban during the apartheid, South African choreographer Robyn Orlin is turning her attention to the practices of Zulu rickshaw drivers and their colonialist entanglements in we wear our wheels with pride and slap your streets with color… we said ‘bonjour’ to satan in 1820… . Eight young South African dancers stage a performance wearing traditional, colourful costume, behind which lie miserable living conditions. So, Orlin acknowledges the magic and creativity of the rickshaw drivers she experienced as a child while simultaneously demonstrating what remains hidden on first sight: their underlying resistance fight and their insistence on their own dignity.
The rickshaw transport system sprang from the colonial order: Men of colour drove whites and their charges. The drivers decorated their rickshaws individually and wore magnificent clothes and opulent headdresses with up to six cow horns. Orlin describes how those horns signified dignity and enormous strength – while also reflecting the driver’s own status as human beasts of burden at the same time.
Choreographer Robyn Orlin works at the intersections of dance, film, visual arts, and music. Her politically involved pieces combine cheerfulness and joy with violence and criticism on hierarchies. They employ strong visuals and are yet simple, playful, and simultaneously critical: “I believe it is important being together with the audience, to laugh with it, to entertain it. I have an old-fashioned, almost corny concept of entertainment. This kind of work attracts me to it because it has humanity and vibrancy.” Robyn Orlin
Duration: 70 min.
A piece by: Robyn Orlin
With Moving Into Dance Mophatong Dancers: Eugene Mashiane, Lesego Dihemo, Masego Moloto, Oscar Buthelezi, Sunnyboy Motau, Sbusiso Gumede
Original and live music: uKhoiKhoi with Yogin Sullaphen and Anelisa Stuurman
Video: Eric Perroys
Costume: Birgit Neppl
Lighting: Romain de Lagarde
General Manager: Jean-Marc L’Hostis
Tour Manager: Thabo Pule
Stage Manager: Jordan Azincot
Booking: Damien Valette
Coordination : Louise Bailly
we wear our wheels with pride and slap your streets with color… we said ‘bonjour’ to satan in 1820… is supported by the Alliance of International Production Houses, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.