Choir Is Worth Making Song and Dance About
BYLINE: SHEILA CHISHOLM
Song and dance has long been an integral part of South African culture.
It would therefore be uncharacteristic for members of Soweto Gospel Choir to sing standing demurely holding their scores.
Johannesburg dancer and choreographer Shimmy Jiyane has turned his hand to choreographing movement to enhance the choir's repertoire.
He has found choreographing a choir exceptionally challenging. "Although I have given singers some Zulu dance and pantsula steps they don't, actually move around the stage like a corps de ballet, but perform them on the spot."
The challenge arises in devising actions which, while energetic, aren't so energetic they interfere with the singers' breathing.
"Any huffing and puffing would instantly destroy the wonderful sound our 26 choir members make.
"However, we've created additional interest by juxtaposing four dynamic and well-trained dancers into the scene."
Jiyane is ideally suited for this task. Born in Soweto and educated at Centurion High, Jiyane, 32, received his first dancing lessons in Soweto.
He studied contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet and African dance and later, as a professional, …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Choir Is Worth Making Song and Dance About. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Cape Times (South Africa). Publication date: September 6, 2007. Page number: 7. © 2009 Independent News & Media PLC. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.