Funded by Connect ZA, British Arts Council - enabled by Tribe of Doris and Drama For Life
ONE is Vela Souls' first stage show. Initially set out to be one small one-man theatre piece in Johannesburg and another in London, the show took a life of its own and welcomed in 6 extra dancers performing four headlining shows at Drama For Life's South Africa Season Festival (WITS Theatre) and a very intimate adapted and quite different one-man London show. The project also comprises of a number of videos and original music being released (Musicians: Owl, Faisal Salah and Thembinkosi Mavimbela.)
ONE tells the tale of a man’s life journey that leads to his personal reckoning. Bennie, a storyteller – calls upon the energy of The Woman In the Wind, who represents the mother of all creativity to inspire him in his quest to write and tell stories. ONE is an intricately woven, layered piece, its context complex, its meanings nuanced and subtle. The production addresses a number of topics close to the hearts of Yana Seidl (choreographer and director) and partner Nyaniso Dzedze (co-creator and lead performer). Exploring themes of mirror-theory, the inner landscapes of humans and the capacity for introspection through fiction, ONE offers a space for a curious connection to “the meaning of it all.” Rich in metaphor, ONE uses dance, performance and film to create a multi-textured and nuanced rendition of one man’s life.
Starring Nyaniso Dzedze in the role of Bennie, he is accompanied by a talented group of dancers and directed by Yana Seidl. About the piece, Yana Seidl says the work “promises to reach deep into the souls of our audience, and stir the emotions therein."
DIRECTOR'S NOTE (Yana Seidl)
There are so many layers to the fabric of ONE that it’s difficult to know where to begin speaking about it. So many darlings have been killed in the creation process, with every word, every note, every image being an original creative offering. There are numerous undertones and messages throughout the show, and I’d like to hand interpretation over to you, the viewer. When it comes to understanding what it’s all about and what it means, there’s no right or wrong, there’s only what is true to you in the moment.
I would, however, like to touch upon three of the underlying messages that ONE serves to speak about - messages which are very dear to my heart. Firstly, mirror theory; (Nyaniso and I) have adopted the perception that every aspect of the external world around us serves as a mirror, offering a direct internal reflection of our inner worlds. Here we are able to find the deepest forms of self-reflection and in turn, healing. Secondly, and thirdly combined, ONE serves to address the emotional oppression of men, the societal stagnancy and labeling of “inappropriate” around the expression of men’s emotions – a result of societal conditioning negating the nurture and healing powers of the divine feminine. May we all rise together.
ONE is a calling to recognize the many aspects that make up the whole, to celebrate the beauty in creativity and to allow the mind to be enticed for a moment by the abstraction and quirk.
With thanks to every soul who has gifted ONE with contribution, devotion and heart – My gratitude is bursting.
Drama For Life, Tribe of Doris, WITS Theatre, and Connect ZA –Thank you.