Teatro Español y Naves del Español

Uncles & Angels

Living arts
Africa Moment'21
Uncles & Angles Still Broadway ©Nelisiwe Xaba & Mocke J van Veuren
November 26, 2021
35 min

The central allusion of the piece is the 'reed dance', widely known in South Africa (and increasingly as an attraction for international tourists) as a colorful cultural celebration that aims to promote respect for young women and preserve the custom of girls remaining virgins until marriage.

In light of this cultural event, Uncles & Angels explores issues of chastity, virginity testing, purity, and tradition, while at the same time offering an ironic look at the power relations encoded within bodily interaction through performance and projection.

Uncles & Angels not only questions the evolution of reed dance, but also investigates the sometimes curious relationship between young and seemingly innocent girls and apparently respected, wealthy and older men who often dominate them.

Released at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg in February 2012, Uncles & Angels has continued to challenge public perspectives on culture and patriarchy in more than 20 cities in South Africa, as well as in Tunisia, France, Germany and Austria.

Uncles & Angels is a production that intersects dance and video, created by Nelisiwe Xaba, a leading artist in South Africa, and creator, filmmaker and visual researcher Mocke J Van Veuren.