Stof Rooi – Cape Town Fringe Festival 2016

Dustin Beck

Dustin Beck

This is my first Fringe Festival and the visually graphic solo dance performance Stof Rooi (red fabric in Afrikaans) is one of the most unusual and dynamic I’ve seen. Described as “physical theatre,” the powerful production “explores the conflicts of language and identity associated with the world of ancestry and the present-day reality of a boy in the Northern Cape”.

It was performed at Cape Town City Hall in the catacombs of the small KleiSand Theatre, with the audience seated intimately close to the riveting performance.

Dustin Beck

Dustin Beck

Performer Dustin Beck portrays a young matriculate contemplating how he will leave his mark in the world. Described as a “ritualistic performance” at times the dancer in Stof Rooi seemed mime-like to me. The audience watched the “anxiety to pass metric consume the young boy as he battled to prove his worth”.

Dustin Beck

Dustin Beck

Beck’s spellbinding performance graphically communicates the boy’s emotions. His “intricate foot work, the stage lighting, and magic of dust” explore a “boy running from his name and bloodline towards a future filled with more promise, hope, and meaning”.

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Stof Rooi was made possible by the Theatre Arts Admin Collective. The Collective provides a venue for local theatre practitioners and enables people from diverse backgrounds to “come together to create work, develop skills, and perform”.

Jason Jacobs

Jason Jacobs

“Stof Rooi’s sound and movement speak to the dream space of the ancestors in a language and vocabulary” deeply rooted in the boy’s mind and body but one that he does not understand. His reality is the language of school systems and gang initiations.

The two worlds (dream and real) fight to occupy the boy’s body. He “fights against both and to prove himself beyond a culture and heritage that seems to have no future”.

Cape Town City Hall

Cape Town City Hall

The original production was performed at the Obs Family Festival. During the Festival young people encouraged high school learners from the Cape Flats to engage with the performance and really physically understand the complex struggle it addresses.

Dustin Beck

Dustin Beck

Director Jason Jacobs is skilled in teaching, acting, dance, and physical theatre. He was nominated for a coveted Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Young Director.

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Jacobs lectures at drama, dance, and creative writing workshops and has won many awards. He is recognized as a theatre-maker, playwright, and mentor for the ASSITEJ SA Theatre4Youth Western Cape Mentorship Programme. Jacobs co-founded KleiSand Theatre which encourages positive thinking in South African youth through “inventive, cutting-edge theatre and dance”.

Jason Jacobs

Reflections

Cape Town City Hall

Cape Town City Hall

During the last visit to Cape Town I don’t remember such strong southeasters – but then it wasn’t summer. Last evening the wind almost blew my earrings out! Restaurants and shops had to move anything outside indoors.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Taking time to re-acclimate and am so in awe of this place which for me has very special vibes. Slowly re-connecting with friends and acquaintances and looking forward to the new faces and adventures of the safari….

llandudno Beach

llandudno Beach

Will begin Shine Centre volunteer work again in April. The Zonnebloem location is familiar. Certainly a refresher course is in order as they are constantly improving their very effective curriculum.

“Rainbow Nation” is a perfect name for South Africa, a rich and diverse country with so much promise. The phrase was elaborated upon by President Nelson Mandela. He said, “Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”