Choreographing HIV and AIDS in Contemporary Dance in South Africa
This essay explores how contemporary dance in South Africa responds to HIV and AIDS in its study of two choreographic works, Robyn Orlin’s We must eat our suckers with the wrappers On (2001) developed with dancers from the Market Theatre Laboratory, and Uncles and Angels (2013) by Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke J. van Veuren. These choreographies illustrate the need for a stronger heterogeneity in the representation of HIV and AIDS in performance, in particular the circumstances of the South African experience of the virus; the role gender plays due to the patriarchal character of South African society where female sexuality is frequently governed and controlled by societal customs around sex, and the part Indigenous healers play in the prevention and/or the transmission of HIV.
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