EMOTIONAL PERFORMER:     Oupa Sibeko takes on his emotional performance for his new play 'Fear and Longing'.  Photo: Palesa Tshandu

EMOTIONAL PERFORMER: Oupa Sibeko takes on his emotional performance for his new play ‘Fear and Longing’. Photo: Palesa Tshandu

Universal feelings of anxiety and desire are confronted in the latest offering by performing and visual arts student Oupa Sibeko.  The one-man contemporary dance piece called ‘Fear and Longing’ attempts to challenge all human emotion.

The 21-year-old student premiered his show at the Roodeport Youth Arts Festival last weekend as part of his physical theatre course based on the “containment of the body”.

“The fear is portrayed in the fragmentation of the self and the longing is the escape”, said Sibeko to describe the visual dance piece whose text relies on audience’s interpretation of the play.

According to Sibeko, his character in the piece has no definite role but is an extension of humanity, relying on human experiences and emotion to tell the story.

“As humans we carry things in outer bodies that we grew up with, that affect how we move and how we interact with people which is body, archive and memory”, said Sibeko who was able to contextualize how the play is able to relate to the audience. .

The play also attempts to reject societies understanding of masculinity by providing a platform to express human vulnerabilities, says Sibeko.

“I had to pay attention to how society defines masculinity and how I define masculinity and the other side of masculinity”, said Sibeko who suggests that the play is inherently vulnerable and open to masculinity.

The dance piece is a combination of a contemporary dance, which includes a traditional Japanese dance style called butoh which “is connected to the soul and the spirit…tracing the human essence,” said Sibeko.

The piece will be showing at the Nunnery at Wits University from the 14th to the 15th of May.