Their latest production advocating for women debuts at Maitisong Festival
Under the directorship of Andrew Kola, the pioneers of Afro Fusion and contemporary dance in Botswana, Mophato Dance Theatre are set to debut their electrifying piece of art dubbed Thari at the ongoing Maitisong Festival from the 23rd and 24th April 2019. The new production, Thari emanates from one of the most celebrated Setswana idioms “Mosadi ke Thari ya Sechaba”, which means that women are the nurturers and pillars of the nation. The awe inspiring production slated for Maitisong Theatre is set to become one of the most relevant story lines that advocates for women.
“Immediately after our Broadway production we held a healing session where we realised that there were a lot of issues women were bottling in and that is how this new production was born. The only way we knew how to advocate for change for women was through dance, incorporating these issues to send out positive messages and in the process bring healing and empower our women,” said Mophato Dance Theatre Marketing and Project Director, Kealeboga Motsumi.
Thari, staged for one hour thirty minutes is an all-women cast that transcends and sheds light on the day to day issues that affect women. The production challenges social ills, chronic diseases, mental health, physical and emotional abuse, rape, woman bias, women conflict and questions women empowerment. It brings out relevant questions to light including whether women are really the pillars of the nation, are their voices heard when they boldly advocate for change and other pertinent topics. The performance is set in rural and urban Botswana.
“Those who have previously attended one of our productions can rest assured that they will get value for their money and that they can only expect to see the group showcasing polished moves and flawless choreography. Mophato men will this time around play the supporting role as the background band. It would be an emotional and real display of art that will bring women’s challenges to the fore and ultimately bring solutions that will uplift, empower and create a safe space for women who have been victims of these ills, to create pillars of those who are not,” Motsumi explained.
He further revealed that the production was also a healing process for the women in their group as they are now seeing them working together more for the betterment of each other, speaking freely and embracing team spirit. “We want to see that same spirit flowing to our audience because the aim is bring out self realization and being cautious of what others may be going through. Prepare to sit on the edge of your seats as we explore and transcend from problems affecting women,” he said.
Furthermore, Mophato Dance Theatre is currently partnering with NGO’s and women’s shelters to relay conversations on issues affecting women. “If we can educate people even more, we can break the cycle of reoccurring disadvantages for the betterment of women alive and those to come,” he concluded.