This five-piece dance composition is inspired by the Zimbabwean upbringing of director and choreographer Bawren Tavaziva.
Its title is derived from the colloquial name for servant’s quarters, a tiny one-room house behind the mansion where Tavaziva had to wait all day for his parents, and the production touches heavily on the ongoing impacts of apartheid – especially through spoken word accompaniment.
The dance itself is less transparent. It is broken into episodes that seesaw from harsher angular movements to flirty sensuality, with occasional spanking suggesting the performer’s rope costumes are emblematic of more than one sort of bondage.
While the final scenes are boldly literal – a hooded execution, with jerky arms representing the firing squad’s rifles; the dancers taking the knee next to the soundtrack talking about Black Lives Matters – for much of the piece there is little clarity in the narrative.
The soundtrack mixes music with conversational spoken word, sometimes repeated and distorted, but it seems largely disconnected to the dance. The topics jump disorientatingly around, from claiming you can’t be afraid while holding a Labrador, to talking about black kings and queens.
The choreography is intense and at times frenetic, with plenty of clever motifs and different influences on display through the straight one-hour show, but it doesn’t build to full satisfaction. The delivery could be crisper too, with the performers not quite holding together in places.
There are some good elements here but it needs a strong external eye to strip it back and rebuild to truly succeed.