We would never say it, but behind her outward appearance there lies a 37 year-old woman who dared to put herself on the line by staging the female condition in contemporary dance. And just by looking at the simplicity of her shows we would never guess that within her movements she weaves one of the most audacious discourses that we, in Europe, still dealing with our post-colonial guilt, have the privilege to see. Nelisiwe Xaba worked with Robyn Orlin and is part of the new generation of South African dance.
Her shows deal with the rhetoric of multiculturalism, the fakeness of expectation, the fact that being a black woman from South Africa bears a weight she didn’t ask to carry. But she does.
And she is able to show us that we cannot talk about the condition of being “another”, “a stranger,” because we are so full of ourselves that we give no space for “the other” to feel comfortable. Pieces such as “Plasticization” or “They Look at Me and That’s All They Think” are a real punch in the stomach and not as metaphorically as the ones we are used to. Especially because they come unnoticed, from the simplicity of the combination of different elements she uses as if it were nothing. ...