The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation Trust on 29 September will present an 18 minute dance piece titled ‘Trapped’ in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
‘Trapped’ is based on a story of three bodies who can’t co-exist, choreographed by Philippe Talavera and is performed by, El Junita Philander, Herman Hausiku and Ilifa Nakapela.
The story also focuses on contrasting, beautiful Namibia which is an extract from the Namibian National Anthem. Known for being the land of contrasts, Namibia is said to be a land that promotes children’s rights, yet it is estimated that 5400 children are married.
A land that promotes freedom of expression, yet where sodomy is a crime and gay relationships are stigmatised against. A land that gives equal rights to all, except a few.
“It is a great honour for OYO and for the three dancers selected’, explain Talavera. ‘It is a very progressive venue, something we don’t often see in Namibia. They will not only have a chance to perform their work but also see the work of others and connect with people around the world. This is extremely exciting.
Working on ‘Trapped’ was exciting for me, as it caters for a different audience and I could therefore push the dancers beyond their comfort zone. I hope we will be able to also present the piece in Namibia at some stage” explained Talavera.
Established in 2008 by Philippe Talavera, OYO dance troop is said to have been built from the African concept of storytelling. Narrating stories without using words, it questions issues around gender, discrimination, HIV, teenage pregnancy and also appeals to the heart and not the intellect. It also encourages people to reflect on the situation presented and how it affects them.
“‘Trapped’ investigates feelings when one of the two partners in a relationship doesn’t want to be in that relationship. Many people question why gender-based violence is so prominent in Namibia.
Why are so many people not happy in their relationships in Namibia? If you are happy with your life, if you love your partner, would you hurt her? Of course no.
But if you feel you are in a relationship because you have to, to conform to societal norms, and feel trapped, then what” questioned Talavera.
‘Trapped’ will be presented during the same time as the Windhoek International Dance Festival that is spearheaded by the College of the Arts.
A number of other members from the OYO dance troupe will perform ‘I have a choice’, a more classical piece of physical theatre at that event.