South African “swanker” tradition arrives on the Peak Performances stage for the U.S. premier of Robyn Orlin’s Walking next to our shoes… at Montclair State University’s Kasser Theater on Thursday, February 10, 7:30 p.m. While its title means “being poor” in Zulu, the show is a powerful and joyous celebration of South African culture, music and dance, while also examining the country’s complex social and political history.
In trademark Orlin fashion, Walking next to our shoes… combines traditional elements with beguiling stagecraft. An opera singer, two dancers, and a “swanker” (a term for Zulu men who compete in fancy-dress competitions) are joined by Isicathamiya a cappella choir Phuphuma Love Minus (think LadySmith Black Mombazo).
Cast members will hold a meet and greet with the audience in the lobby prior to each performance. A pre-show film of attendees’ eye-catching footwear will be made and incorporated into the performance, allowing the audience to join the “swanker” tradition of “putting your best foot forward.”
The hour-long work, is performed in Zulu, using English subtitles. The show is fun, vibrant and suitable for all ages (children are welcome).
Baristanet has 5 pairs of tickets for the Thursday evening performance, 7:30. We’ll give them to the first 5 to claim them in comments. Contest winners will also be invited to an exclusive post-show champagne reception with the case. Just write that you want to go and we’ll get in touch.
Thurs., Feb. 10 & 17; Fri., Feb. 11 & 18 • 7:30pm
Sat., Feb. 12 & 19, 8:00pm
Sun., Feb. 13 & 20 , 3:00pm
Montclair State Kasser Theater, 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair
All Peak Performance tickets are $15
For tickets and more info, click here.
For a short video on the program and an interview with Robyn Orlin, click here.
Watch the video below for some history on “swanking.”