The Social

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Posted: May 25th, 2011 | By Fifi

I was intrigued when I saw 2 pantsula dancers in Beyonce’s new video, Run The World (Girls). I was convinced that they were local and I was curious about how they managed to make it onto the video. Well, they’re not South Africans but they are from neighbouring Mozambique.

Beyoncé and her longtime choreographer Frank Gatson, Jr. were inspired by the Mozambique dance group Tofo Tofo, after seeing a video of them dancing on YouTube.

It took Beyonce’s people almost 2 months as well as the assistance of the embassy to track them down. She then flew them to the States and they taught her some of their moves.

Frank told MTV “We had seen something on YouTube; we had seen these three guys from Africa, this Mozambique African dance troupe … we were like, ‘Wow, this is an amazing movement.’ And that movement has always been in the back of our head for the last year. From there, we talked about a lot of concepts.”

While pantsula dance is nothing new to us Africans, it’s the first time that it has been given such exposure. I’m glad Beyonce saw something great in them and the movement as a whole. But I wish the genre was as appreciated and respected here. Why do our artists always need the American/ European stamp of approval for us to value them?





May 27, 2011 at 7:25 am

I think it is unfair to say that we dont value pantsula dance here, all u have to do is go to any get together or club in SA and u will see ppl performing this dance. Many local music videos feature pantsula dancers and lets not forget all the dance competitions that have kwaito dance as a genre. We do value it and we do not need the western stamp of approval to do so.



May 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

@ Thandiwe I totally agree with Fifi. The genre is not respected, not like Ballet, Tap, Modern and Hip Hop Dance.
Yes we see it at get togethers and shows like Jika Majika but there isn’t enough done to grow the genre, promote it and make it a sustainable. How many pantsula dancers have you seen in art magazines, in big productions?
Most pantsula dancers get exploited because they don’t know their value.
It’s the same with arts and craft, it’s seen as the ******* child of the art world. While fine artists get praise and recognition & their works get auctioned for thousands, our bead workers ect… get paid peanuts.

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