By: Princess Biyela
To heal is to give birth to a new state of being. To cleanse is to restore the beauty in a being. Choreographer Fana Tshabalala, working with dancers from The Forgotten Angle Collaborative based in Johannesburg takes us on a journey of rebirth and restoration by using his latest work Indumba to heal and reconnect with the self.Five bodies lie peacefully on stage as the sound buzzes and beeps through the speakers. They begin to move sluggishly. A dancer takes centre stage on his knees paying respect to his ancestors. His movements are circular as he attempts to drive out imimoya emibi (evil spirits).
The dancers’ movements, wonderfully illuminated by Thabo Pule’s lighting design evoke traditional dance elements of Umugidi We zangoma (traditional healers’ dance) danced in ritual ceremonies. They move all over the space seemingly trying to reconnect with their ancestors.
Tshabalala was inspired after reading Paul Granjo’s writings about cleansing ceremonies conducted in Mozambique. He spent weeks with different traditional healers (Izangoma) trying to find a sense of personal belonging and reconnection with himself. He then began to create a work that not only spoke to him but also inspired deep introspection. The result is a work which highlights the importance of the inner voice and its ability to guide and heal.