The rhythm is gonna get you with ‘Unbreakable’ leading the foot-tapping shows in Jozi

The dancers deliver a mind-blowing performance in ‘Unbreakable’. Picture: Supplied

The dancers deliver a mind-blowing performance in ‘Unbreakable’. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 6, 2024


Get ready to be blown away by “Unbreakable” which taps into the heart of pantsula.

Pantsula originated in South Africa’s townships in the 1950s as a form of protest, and has a specific dress code.

The hour-long show is a co-production between Soweto Skeleton Movers and Lloydscompany (NL).

It features five dancers - Topollo Ntulo, Jabulani Manyoni, Junior Hlongwane, Molefi Rakitla and Lerato Motsepe - showcasing their unique dance style in “skeleton pantsula”, which is a street dance mix of pantsula and bone-breaking.

Through this performance, they convey their stories which unpack them overcoming setbacks and rising above temptations that could see them spiral out of control.

In a quick chat with Ntulo, he shed light on his journey and being a part of “Unbreakable”.

Born in the Free State and raised in Limpopo, he moved to Soweto and started dancing in 2004.

“I’ve learned a lot through dancing. It’s been a heck of a ride, which I’m grateful for. I trained, not formally, with community pantsula dance groups,” Ntulo shared.

Despite having his own dance company, Soweto Junction, he got involved with this production through someone he knew from the Soweto Skeleton Movers.

The dancers deliver a mind-blowing performance in ‘Unbreakable’. Picture: Supplied

Ntulo said: “One of my guys was involved with Soweto Skeleton Movers. They needed someone to help with the pantsula; that’s how I got involved. I was the obvious option for them. I joined Soweto Skeleton Movers, too. We’ve been travelling the world with them.

“I’ve been together with them and we did ‘Breakin Convention, an international hip hop festival in London. It was the first time it went to the Netherlands. While there, we met Lloyd Marengo.”

Marengo is a choreographer from Rotterdam. That’s when the idea of a collaboration was conceived, and “Unbreakable” was born.

Fortunately for Marengo, the show was ready, he just needed to add some finesse to it.

Directed by Jonzi D, the dancers deliver an energetic and seamlessly choreographed show. The compelling visuals and street scenes lend credence to the stories of hardships and triumphs.

The music is a mix of Afro-house and amapiano.

Ntulo added: “Through the show, we are telling people our own stories, to show them that, whatever you are going through, it is not the end of the road.”

Where: Gibson Kente Theatre at Soweto Theatre.

When: Thursday, February 8, 7.30pm.

Cost: Tickets cost R150; students and groups of 10 or more pay R50. Tickets are available through Webtickets.

“Triple Dose”

The dance theme dominates with “Triple Dose”, a series of three productions to celebrate Vuyani Dance Theatre’s 25th anniversary.

According to the press release, it is created by artists who are at the threshold of their choreographic growth.

It is a poignant exploration of human connection within a world that has propelled such connections to the precipice of non-existence.

Oscar Buthelezi's new creation “Re-birth” explores and shares the importance of change and transformation in human beings, to find new learnings of life from the norm to the unknown to influence the world for the better.

Roseline Wilkens explores her personal experiences in “To Chase Human”, and “Otto Nhlapo’s “Man Up” is a voice for future generations but more importantly for leaders and every decision-maker to reflect on their part in making the world better.

Where: The Lesedi at Joburg Theatre.

When: February 10 - 11, at 7.30pm and 3pm, respectively.

Cost: Tickets cost R150 and be purchased through Webtickets.

“Pitso Ya Kalaneng Live Concert”

In keeping with the foot-tapping vibe, this concert, in celebration of Wits Theatre’s 40th milestone anniversary, is worth checking out.

It closes a week-long celebratory festival with an eclectic line-up boasting some of the biggest names in Mzansi as well as the alumni from its School of Arts.

Where: Wits Main Theatre, Johannesburg.

When: February 10 at 6pm.

Cost: Tickets cost R160 and can be purchased through Webtickets.


“The Sound of Music”

The much-loved musical, directed by Steven Stead with musical direction by Kevin Kraak, tells the story of the Von Trapp family’s flight across the mountains from Austria.

It boasts an unforgettable score that includes some of the most memorable songs ever performed on the musical stage, including “My Favourite Things”, “Edelweiss”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “The Lonely Goatherd”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, and the title song “The Sound of Music”.

It features an all-star South African cast led by Craig Urbani (“Binnelanders”) as Von Trapp, Brittany Smith as Maria, Janelle Visagie as Mother Abbess, William Berger as Max, Ashley Scott as Liesel, Che Jean Jupp as Rolf, Schoeman Smit as Franz, Megan Spencer as Frau Schmidt, Alida Scheepers as Sister Berthe and Lusibalwethu Sesani as Sister Sophia.

In a recent interview, Urbani said: “It was just such a beautiful show. The story was so clear and so beautifully told. I think we are doing a good version of the show and it landed well.”

Where: The Teatro at Montecasino.

When: On until February 24 at 7.30pm, with matinees on the weekend as well.

Cost: Ticket prices vary from R200 to R550 and can be purchased through Webtickets.