How to dance pantsula

Pantsula revolution! How South Africa's townships dance got political | Dance

In the beginning, it was all about the shoes. In the early 1950s in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, the pantsulas defied their lean material circumstances by dressing in designer clothing. Influenced by American jazz music, they danced with a quick-stepping style, tapping the floor in a way that wouldn’t ruin their expensive footwear.

Sixty years on, pantsula (both the name of the dance and its surrounding culture) still thrives in townships across South Africa, but its character and style have morphed in line with the lives of the people who cultivated it. Only recently has pantsula broken into the mainstream dance world. You can see it in the show Via Kanana, created by the South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma and dancers from the Katlehong township, playing at Shoreditch Town Hall, east London, as part of Dance Umbrella.

Pantsula took its early influences predominantly from tap dance, with traces of jive, gumboot, tribal African dance and everyday gestures like dice-rolling. Its trademark is intricate, on-the-spot rhythmic footwork, where feet twist, shuffle and stamp. But those early pantsulas were as much about style as dancing. With a gangsterish attitude, fancy clothes, expensive liquor and women on their arms, “they’d be the people who were feared the most in the township,” says Maqoma.

Maqoma grew up in Soweto in the 70s and 80s in a conservative Christian household, and the pantsulas were seen as “the bad guys”, but he couldn’t help being intrigued. The groups he knew were named after their favoured labels – the Pierre Cardins, the Valentinos – but Maqoma was more interested in their moves. “I was always curious about their movement and the dance style, the sense of expression,” he says.

In the 70s, the townships were growing, and the gangs were competing for territory and status. But in parallel, the dance was becoming more competitive, and status could be won on the dancefloor, too. “The footwork became more sophisticated, more complex in its rhythms, and each group became known for its own innovative form of dancing,” says Maqoma.

In the 80s came influences from hip-hop and from television. As a boy, Maqoma was more inspired by Michael Jackson than pantsula, but he happened to live near a hostel for migrant workers who came from all over southern Africa and at the weekends would go and watch them dance their own traditional forms. All these things influenced the young Maqoma, and fed into pantsula dance culture as well.

‘Pantsula reflected the changing landscape of the township’ … Via Kanana. Photograph: Christian Ganet

“Pantsula reflected the changing landscape of the township itself,” says Maqoma, “and the fact that the township is made of people from different cultural backgrounds. You learn in your backyard when young people start putting steps together, it’s very much a collective form.”

These days you don’t have to go to a township to see pantsula, you can just search on YouTube, where you’ll find a resurgence of dance groups all taking pantsula in new directions. What’s most striking – aside from the ever-expanding variations in style, the crazy energy and speed, the pounding beats of kwaito house music – is that pantsula is an increasingly political form, reflecting the concerns of the young people who dance it.

Pantsula dancers in a carnival procession in Durban, 2011. Photograph: Rogan Ward/Reuters

You’ll find pantsula dancers campaigning against drink, drugs and violence – things that were all hallmarks of its early days. “It is evolving,” says Maqoma, who believes young people are “more socially aware of their environment and how they can contribute and respond to their circumstances. They’re surrounded by the social imbalances within their townships and they are part of the new post-apartheid struggle.”

Maqoma feels an urgency in the air that is perfectly captured by the relentless attack of pantsula. “It’s young people stepping up and creating a revolution in their own way,” he says. “Responding to what’s going on in the political sphere, in terms of corruption, the complex nature of land rights, the decay in just … humanity. And young people want to hold those in power accountable.”

The performance Maqoma has created is about corruption. “When we created the work we were still under the leadership of probably the most corrupt leader in our country, our ex-president Zuma. ” It draws on the lives and concerns of the dancers of Via Katlehong. Maqoma remembers: “One of the guys said: ‘You know, my grandmother still lives in a shack, and I live in a shack, and it’s 24 years after apartheid: what has the fight really been for? Why are things still the same? Why are things worse?’”

Amid the problems and the protest, though, there is always time to dance. Maqoma now lives in north-east Johannesburg, but the life of the city is still in the townships, he says, and every weekend that’s where he goes. “It’s part of killing our own depression, to party, to make noise, to come together. It’s psychological therapy for our people. Dance and music is what we own and it gives us life.”

Pantsula - Crowdbooks

Project Description

Pantsula is South Africa: young, urban, multicultural, and creative. A sub-culture shaping the identity of generations of youth growing up in the townships finding its most prominent expression in an explosive and inventive street dance form that came to prominence in the late 1980s. It was developed from a fusion of traditional and modern dance, Jazz and other music, and theatrical observations of everyday life’s gestures, such as mime, clownery, acrobatics and magical tricks. The pantsula community can trace its roots back to the 1940s and the legendary, multiracial Johannesburg suburb of Sophiatown and its famous writers, musicians and notorious gangsters. Pantsula has bridged the transition from apartheid to democracy to gain international recognition and acclaim making its way from the dusty streets of the townships onto theatre stages around the world. Becoming a member of a pantsula crew provides many talented young people with a much-needed social security structure, a rewarding activity, and promising career opportunity.

This is the first time in history that pantsula has been thoroughly documented and its history investigated. The name pantsula goes back to a Zulu word that means waddling like a duck or walking with protruded buttocks and refers simultaneously to the way the fashionistas of the 1970s used to parade along the streets of the townships and to the characteristic posture of slightly bending forward that is commonly found in most South African traditional dances. Pantsula dancers articulate their identity in specific poses or signature movements and fashion continues to play an important and highly symbolic role in the dance. The images capture all these components in a detailed manner.

The book is the result of 5 years of collective research, shared by Impilo Mapantsula, an organisation that unites and represents pantsula dancers, under the lead of dancer and choreographer Sicelo Xaba from Red for Danger and independent German researcher Daniela Goeller, and South African fashion and documentary photographer Chris Saunders. For over 4 years they visited the remote townships surrounding Johannesburg, recording the dance form through the voices and images of its current protagonists and tracing its roots back into the past, looking for evidence in the many stories they were told.

The images were taken in the streets of the neighborhoods where the crews are based and rehearse, and are staged collectively, following the lead of the dancers. Through the visionary design of Lorenzo Fanton, discover South Africa as you have never seen it and learn more about this vibrant and fascinating street culture: Join the international pantsula community by supporting this project and become a pantsula for life!

Limited edition postcards

Pantsula’s steps Poster starting from Gold level

Limited edition of the book inside a box with flipbooks

Ultra limited edition of the book shipped with limited fine art print

Author Informations

NameChris Saunders, Daniela Goeller, Sicelo Xaba
Country South Africa

To hell with the guy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!] - Aika - Games - social network for gamers

It seems to me that the Great Wall of China was not built by the Chinese at all. It was the neighboring peoples, in a wild panic, who erected this hulk and guarded it day and night - so that not a single Chinese would slip through. For everyone knows that if a couple of rice lovers are locked in an empty and dusty gym, then soon a small community of a thousand people will appear there, with its own market, rice fields, copies of popular products - and, of course, several clones of the Lineage2 game.

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

canonical picture

There have been countless games like this before. All of them are united by one thing - a common ancestor, which is the famous hit from NC soft. But, unlike numerous WOW clones, these are not even disguised.

Personally, this huge army of clones has always been a mystery to me. Either it's so insanely easy to create a new game by simply modifying the Lineage2 "engine", or this is done intentionally so that the flock accustomed to L2 does not scatter and recognize their own in the game (nothing personal to the "lingers" - he himself played for a long time).

Moreover, each new game appears in a new, more grotesque form (see photo).

If there were sexy elves in Lineage2, then in this game we have just porn bombs. To hell with the timid pantz! - Today in the course of frank bikinis!

To hell with the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

another canon picture

For the L2 copy, everything is in place - juicy hams of sexy heroines, kawaii pets (here they are called "prania") and de facto PvP, as an integral part of the canonical phrase "PvP u/\u 3acca/\?".

What these projects are doing in a world where there are such f2p games - I don't understand. What can they give the player besides tons of merciless grind and money siphoning? Let's leave this question open.

Of course, every game has its own flair - even in such a neat clone as Aika. I do not deny that a person who misses Lineage2 insanely will find the game interesting, but ...

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

if things continue like this, by 2020 instead of MMO heroines we will get bipedal striders - the length of the legs of the characters is prohibitive

glade f2p games are also unlikely to succeed. There are already a lot of projects in this clearing that will be of more interest to a fan of free MMOs.

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

the authors of the game did a lot of work on the monsters

Of course, Russian localizers will object that there are a lot of new things in the game - all sorts of "pranas" and so on, but if something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck - we call it a duck, not a bouquet of roses.

To hell with the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

To hell with the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

finger-sucking pranias are designed to radiate kawaii at the player

The game will be able to compete for a place in the sun only among similar Lineage2 clones (write the names yourself).

Well, we wish the Russian publisher Aika Online good luck - in 2011, terribly rich in AAA f2p releases (Vindictus, Dragon Nest edition in Europe, transition to f2p LOTRO), Aika will undoubtedly need good luck.

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

Damn the boy! - Gimme a bikini! [Lineage2 clones are still trying to take over the world!]

Sometimes the thought creeps in - is the creators of "Aiki" chosen the genre of the game?

A triumph of beauty and grace • Newspaper News Rybnitsa

“Meet. Ensemble of ballroom dance "Inspiration" - how many times these words have been heard from the lips of the hosts of various events and cannot be counted. And this is natural - he is one of the brightest teams in the city and the region. Inspiration is a real constellation of talents. The color of the dances, which are included in the huge repertoire of this ensemble, is also diverse. In addition, “Inspiration” is always moving forward, striving to move to new heights, new achievements, new victories. And the participants of the exemplary ballroom dance ensemble "Inspiration" succeed. They represent our city not only in our republic, but also abroad.

Ballroom dancing is a celebration of beauty, skill and grace. And this has been proven by the dancers of Inspiration for many years. Whether couples float to the rhythm of a waltz, whether they perform an incendiary “Cha-cha-cha” or whirl easily to the beat of tango melodies, it is always bewitchingly beautiful. To be honest, it is impossible to look away from them, not only during performances, but also at rehearsals. I confirmed this by visiting one of them.
"Inspiration" today is a big family uniting boys and girls from 6 to 15 years old. Currently, the team employs more than 20 people. There is a friendly, almost homely atmosphere. Indeed, in order to achieve high results, it is not enough just to learn how to move beautifully. You need to become one.
Recently, the exemplary ballroom dance ensemble "Inspiration" returned home with another victory. On December 15, the final of the republican choreographic competition "Dance of a New Day" among club-type groups was held at the Palace of the Republic. He went through 6 nominations. The dance battle brought together teams from all cities and regions of Pridnestrovie. Both boys and girls from "Inspiration" took an active part. Each pa is spectacular and unique. The guys on stage just shone. The result - the exemplary ballroom dance ensemble "Inspiration" of the Palace of Culture in Rybnitsa under the direction of Olga Kovbasnyan became the first in the nomination "Ballroom dance", as well as the third in the nomination "Heroic-Patriotic Dance".
“This republican competition is held for the second time, and we again brought the first place. I hope that next year we will not yield to anyone. We will hold our positions,” said Olga Kovbasnyan, head of the Inspiration ensemble.
According to the guys, the level of training of the rivals was high, so it was not easy for ours at the competition.
Ilya Pantsa has been dancing for over 4 years. When asked about the competition, he answers: “We had fun on the bus, told jokes, and when we arrived, it became exciting. All opponents were worthy and strong. During such events, we can not only show what we have achieved ourselves, but also learn something interesting from other dancers.”
Polina Cheban has been dancing in Inspiration for 5 years. For her, participation in competitions is not new.
“Dance is an amazing world for me, and when I entered it, I was fascinated. It is very pleasant when after the performance in the hall there is a storm of applause, this means that we managed to conquer the audience.

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