Ntsikelelo “Boyzie” Cekwana and I have met several times over the course of the past two years. He has dramatically increased my awareness of South Africa. Socially, culturally, politically, economically, and, yes, dance-wise. But the latter aspect seems just one of many in an avid creative life that reaches out in all directions. His curiosity, voracious reading and quick mind thriving on constant challenge make him an interesting if somewhat demanding interlocutor. Our talks have been long and loaded, as I suspect any conversation with this complex man is. But all the more rewarding.
Especially if you have seen some of his work.
Cekwana isn’t one of South Africa’s best known dancer-choreographers for nothing. Before our interview, I saw “Ja, nee” for the fourth time. It still shakes me. The enlightened Westerner’s reflex reading of work from the other hemisphere tends towards indiscriminate embrace of the foreign as “authentic” i.e. good – and an idealization of unfamiliar ethnicity. Particularly in dance. And now this. Seven black men devoid of individuality and charm, a pack of predatory beasts. “Ja, nee” has been touring to tremendous acclaim since its creation in 2003. Even ...