Entertainment Theatre Dansmettieduiwels Tackles Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Dansmettieduiwels Tackles Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

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Alfred Hinkel’s latest work, Dansmettieduiwels, comes to the Baxter Theatre for four performances from 29 - 31 March.

Presented by Hinkel and John Linden, this latest collaboration introduces a new ensemble under the working title Garage, featuring stalwarts Grant van Ster, Christopher Samuels and Illse Samuels together with Byron Klaasen and Farroll Coetzee. Costumes and projection design are by fashion designer Marsten Carsten and lighting design is by Bennie Arendse.

With Dansmettieduiwels, commissioned by the Dance Umbrella, Hinkel bravely and creatively tackles the subject of sexual abuse amongst the priesthood in the Catholic Church head on, in a work which he describes as an “ancient biblical myth with a Greek tragedy feel to it”.

Veteran dance writer Adrienne Sichel described the piece as “tightly crafted choreography” and said “This taboo subject is articulated with utter courage and integrity by freelance dancer Grant van Ster, O’okiep’s Illse and Christopher Samuels, 17-year-old Faroll Coetzee as their abused son and gifted young newcomer Byron Klassen in the dual roles of Eros and Cupid.” Moira de Swardt said on Artslink “It is a very clever and complex dance creation,” and “I was able to feel a great deal of empathy for the characters.”

The title of the production came about when Hinkel was working late one night while doing research on the Catholic Church and at the same time listening to a Tina Schouw CD. “I was reading about women in the church and then one of Tina’s lyrics stuck in my head -‘dance with your demons’ - hence the title dansmettieduiwels.” He has chosen the sacred music of Johann Sebastian Bach, much of it from his Mass in B minor, to add to the texture of the piece.

The story is based on Emmanuel Bugen, who was born in Matjieskloof, a Roman Catholic mission station, a few kilometres from Springbok in the Northern Cape. As a young adult he believed he had a calling to serve his creator and so joined the monastery in his home town, in the hopes of eventually being ordained as a priest.
 A while into his training Emmanuel requested that he be given permission to work with children. This request was refused as the abbot believed he displayed an inappropriate interest in the children.
Using Emmanuel’s story as a springboard, the church’s doctrines and belief systems regarding sex, sexuality and its relationship with women and children are interrogated. Parental Guidance is advised.

Dansmettieduiwels opens on 29 March and runs for four performances only until 31 March at 8pm with a matinee at 2pm on the Saturday. Ticket prices are R85 with discounts offered for block bookings. Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.co.za or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.