Chatsva, meaning explosion, was created in 2007. The work presents the dancers in continually changing and contrasting moods. From light-hearted, exuberant contest (Makwikwi) and the determination of the persecuted to affirm identity and belief (Pachedu), to a powerful new solo (Mr Man) inspired by the poet Samuel Coleridge’s impassioned public outburst against the evils of slavery.
This work was based on the company dancers who each have different training and cultures. Taking advantage of this unique situation, Bawren created a vibrant, energetic, light-hearted, humorous piece that shows off the dancers’ own unique personalities and backgrounds. Makwikwi translates as ‘test’ or ‘contest’ in Shona language so the performance has competitive elements.
When people are persecuted in today’s society, they band together, become more patriotic, and gain solidarity in their ideas and beliefs. This piece presents the strengths in the unity of a group of people who will not be separated. Through this, ‘Pachedu’ identifies how someone may underestimate the power of others’ beliefs. This work vocalises: ‘Don’t tell me what you think I should do, or how I should behave. Don’t put your own beliefs on me. I know who I am’.
This touching solo, with live singing by Samson Felo, was danced by different company members at each performance. Exploring the abolition of slavery and new-found freedom, Mr Man was commissioned by Take Art to mark the bicentenary of the 1807 Slave Trade Abolition Act. Inspired by the Somerset-based Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s uplifting address against slavery, delivered in a small Somerset chapel, Mr Man challenges audiences to reflect on the real notion of freedom.
Choreographed by Thea Narissa Barnes.