Review – Where is Home?

Where is Home? – State of Emergency – New Wolsey Studio and touring.

The New Wolsey is a theatre that never shies away from bringing diversity to the stage. ‘Where is Home?’ is a dance and music based production that combines traditional South African dance with Western contemporary and an original score to tell the story of migration, love and loss mixed with traditional fables.

State of Emergency was founded in 1986 by choreographer Deborah Baddoo and musician Steve Marshall to create innovative dance based performances.

On an almost bare stage five dancers – who at times doubled up on vocals – and five musicians weaved the story of a young man from Soweto who in his struggles against the security forces falls in love with the wrong girl – and they are forced to flee to the West. There were some powerful scenes of friendship, betrayal and parting – and the scenes when the characters arrived in the big city very well portrayed.

The dancing was beautiful to watch and the dancers talented and full of energy. The problem seemed to be in linking the scenes – often there were large pauses before a scene began. As dancers these performers could not be faulted – and musically the show is vibrant and powerful. But the company needs to work on the moments of pure acting – where the energy dropped and the performers found it hard to fill the stage.

However, overall this was a very enjoyable and entertaining evening from a talented Company worth catching if you get a chance.

Suzanne Hawkes


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