• June 5th, 2020

OYO premieres ‘Ilithyia gone mad’

Aletta Shikololo

WINDHOEK - The Namibian Trust and Dance Troupe that uses the arts to create social awareness, Ombetja Yehinga Organisation, premiered ‘Ilithyia gone mad’ yesterday at the Warehouse Theatre, in collaboration with an international guest, from the Netherlands, Eveline Castelein.

The 10-member dance troupe, which has been in the industry for almost two decades, has played an important role in creating awareness in matters affecting the nation with the main focus on youth, such as abortion, HIV and Aids and teenage pregnancy.

According to the founder of OYO, Phillippe Talavera, The piece is inspired by the mythical figure of Ilithyia, which is a Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery in a country where abortion is illegal, yet many backdoor abortions are performed, at times presenting great health risks to the mother, what would the ancient goddess think? Many people are quick to judge abortion on moral or religious grounds.
“OYO uses physical theatre, which is the telling of a story through movement and without words. Contemporary dance is often perceived as abstract. Physical theatre is not abstract. It builds from storytelling,” explained Talavera.

Talavera explained that many people are quick to judge abortion on moral or religious ground, yet they have many teenage pregnancies.

“In most cases, the men run away at times the family of the girl turn their back on her and she is the one left with the problem. Sure, she made a mistake: one can argue she should not have had unprotected sex in the first place. But should she live the rest of her life paying for that mistake? Becoming a teenage mum often means dropping out of school and giving up on one’s dreams,” he further explained.
Castelein spent four weeks with the OYO Dance Troupe during which time she helped create the piece ‘Ilithyia gone mad’.

Castelein, who is pursuing her Masters in Educational Sciences at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, said she was honoured to collaborate with the OYO Dance Troupe, adding that she has learnt so much from the group.

“The piece has been created collectively. Some sections are inspired by solos OYO dancers created or phrases Eveline devised. Other sections have been brainstormed with all the dancers. This work is significant to Namibia, as it shows once more the benefit of international collaboration,” said Talavera, who did the overall choreography. 

‘Ilithyia gone mad’ will become part of the OYO’s repertoire. As such, the piece will be used to create awareness in schools and communities around the country. 
As always with OYO’s work, it will be followed up by facilitated discussions with learners and adults to encourage them to reflect on the situation presented.

Staff Reporter
2019-08-23 08:57:57 | 9 months ago

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