Beading my soul

Conceived by Andrea Dondol and workshopped by cast and director
Directed by Sara Matchett with Andrea Dondolo and Faniswa Yisa

Beading My Soul, in collaboration with Setyazana Storytellers is Mothertongue’s third production. The play was first seen at the Artscape Arena as part of the Collaborations 2001 Festival. Stories within a story. A traditional South African myth provides a container for contemporary representations of women in Africa. From inside an elephant’s stomach come stories carefully beaded together to restore the soul. Exploring the role that beading and beadwork plays in the lives of women in South Africa, Beading My Soul refreshes storytelling traditions by weaving stories, beadlike, around a central narrative thread of women’s hopes, anticipations and painful experiences. By communicating their stories, they recover the mystery of transition, the secrets of nurturing, the power to create, the strength to transform and the wisdom to heal. The play combines techniques such as physical theatre, storytelling, beadwork, breathwork, ritual and sound to tap into the body’s own wisdom and wellspring of personal dreams and universal archetypes. Beading My Soul was selected to perform on the Main Festival of the South African National Arts Festival in Grahamstown 2002. The play was also performed at the State Theatre in Pretoria and at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg as part of 2002 National Women’s Day celebrations (8-10 August). It was performed at The Macufe Festival in Bloemfontein (October 2002), at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town (November - December 2002) and at the Calabash Festival in Mmabatho (December 2002).

Beading My Soul traveled to Switzerland in 2004 to perform at Theatre Spiral in Geneva and at the "Sharp Sharp" Festival in Bern.

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