Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero

Part of Dance Umbrella


Standing for hope against darkness, Vuyani Dance Theatre’s rousing show transfixes with choreography of rhythmic dexterity and ecstatic intensity to the sound of a South African a cappella quartet. 

Celebrated choreographer and dancer Gregory Maqoma embodies professional mourner Toloki – a character inspired by the protagonist of Ways of Dying and Cion, novels by South African author Zakes Mda. Joined by eight gifted performers from Vuyani Dance Theatre, the company confronts a universe in which greed, power and religion lead so often to the normalisation of death and loss. The physical lament unfolds to Ravel’s Bolero, reinterpreted here through percussion and voice – the stirring harmonies sung live by four vocalists .

Maqoma, who sees art as a commentary on how human beings treat each other, created this soaring piece as a response to recent political events in his own country and globally. He performs here as part of Dance Umbrella 2019, having choreographed Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Tree.

Tagged with: Theatre & dance Dance

Duration: 1 hour 10 mins, no interval
Age guidance: 12+

Fri 18 Oct
Post-show talk

Free to same-day ticket holders

Presented by the Barbican and Dance Umbrella. Co-produced by Vuyani Dance Theatre and The Market Theatre.

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£12 per ticket. Call the Groups line on 020 7382 7211 to book.

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‘Incredible show … with pieces ranging from joyous to hauntingly beautiful‘
Artsvark (South Africa)


Photo of three men standing on stage performing Cion: A Requiem for Ravel's Bolero

Watch: Cion A Requiem for Ravel's Bolero

Teaser trailer - Dance Umbrella 2019

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