Monday, 20 March 2006

Heartstopping by Third World Bunfight (South Africa, March 20, 2006

Heartstopping by Third World Bunfight (South Africa)
Commonwealth Games Arts Festival
City Square March 16 to 20, 2006
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on March 20, 2006

If you missed Third World Bunfight you missed a treat. 

Their first show, the House of the Holy Afro, was  “highly stylised Afro-Kitsch” incorporating a DJ, a club poet, House rhythms and African sound and dance.

Their second show was an outdoor performance installation, set against the backdrop of Collins Street. The six performers, stood or squatted on a wall at the edge of the City Square, each behind a microphone.

All wore white body paint evoking images of the Japanese Butoh dancers. This performance is almost static. The three women were seated, perched on the wall under hand-held umbrellas. The three men stand behind them, playing percussion. They accompany snatches of opera and African song with stylised gesture and slow-motion movement.

It is almost a meditative state and the lunchtime city audience was mesmerised.

The singing was resonant of the plains of Africa with songs that bled one into the other, some with the tones of a lament, others with the passionate beat of Africa. Apart from the minimal percussion, the six voices sang a capella, filling the Square with unfamiliar, warm and welcome sounds.

By Kate Herbert

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