McIntosh Jerahuni

Chirorodziva / The Sleeping Pool

Choreographed/Performed/Directed: Mcintosh Jerahuni
Music Composition: ‘Shanje’ by Thomas Wadharwa, ‘Lacan Woto Kumu’ by Geoffrey Oryema
Duration: 30min

Photographs: George Anastasakis

‘Chirorodziva/The Sleeping Pool’, is a solo piece choreographed by Mclntosh Jerahuni. This solo production is a theatre dance performance piece conceptually derived from Zimbabwe’s Chinhoyi Caves.

Even the air I was breathing felt sacred, I inhaled deeply and felt the sacred and pleasantly crisp air fill my lungs. A tingle went up my spine and I crossed my hands, this was going to be fun and scary at the same time. Fun and danger, I’d take those two any moment, they are the complete recipe for a real cool adventure.

‘Chirorodziva/The Sleeping Pool’, our ancestors used to have this environment as a habitat. This calls for ultimate respect of the sacredness of the place. We are now entering sacred ground, I advise you to be at your best behaviour and not to shout, or the spirits might be provoked. I had heard stories of talking baboons, snakes with legs, and people disappearing for breaking the rules and only coming back after certain traditional rituals were performed. It is beautiful beyond expression; the sun’s rays penetrated down the large swallow hole, illuminating the water into a lovely blue colour. The water so still, calm and so inviting, but don’t dare to go near it. This is the famous ‘Chirorodziva, or The Sleeping Pool’.

They are each about our inner truth, stepping beyond our beliefs, understanding and oneself perception, knowing the underlying reality of our own existence and experience. In this piece, choreographer was inspired by life itself. The ups and downs of love relationships, hustling for survival and those sorrows that haunt us daily which we cannot name all this giving a complete change in mental, physical reaction influenced by individual journey within context of life. Taking the seed beyond, which shaped them into the form which seems to convey their essence on their current limited perception but with time, shall pass. So, I pass these thoughts on you and trusting they will resonate with your inner knowing while inspiring more thoughts. For the more we allow our inner souls to speak their truth to each other, the more we tap and release the wisdom the world so badly needs.

Talent and creativity are crucial tools for development and for human growth: yet outside the centres very little performances of a high quality and that has the power to effect change, take place. This work aims to enliven the cultural scene in towns and cities, by linking up with local groups beforehand, through the Arts Council’s network, through the Local Authorities, and through existing known cultural or community groups.

The public, in these areas, are starved of powerful performances, and are also starved of messages they can connect to – in terms of identity. ‘Zimbabwean Cultural Authorities communication has so far failed to address the deep human and cultural values that need to be explored in order to make change’. Arts communities in the towns and cities targeted in this project are given funding to deliver messages, but are not equipped with the necessary artistic skill to provide their audiences with powerful experiences. Each time this production tours, as week will be spent leading workshops in the creative and choreographic methodology used to make Chirorodziva/The Sleeping Pool. This project directly addresses the need to build skill in the area of using arts for Zimbabwean identity, and provides communities with a model of how to successfully do this as well as provides audiences with an experience that will unify them in the fight for upholding and defending human dignity and identity.

The production has proved very powerful and people have responded to it with amazing personal insight. Working with the principal of suggesting meaning, as opposed to expressing a direct and certain version of truth, Chirorodziva explores freedom of expression, destruction and reduction of gender identity through being unable to speak, or be heard. This montage piece is inspired by 2weeks residency in Windhoek at ‘Namibia College of Arts’ with Trixie Munyama’s Da-Mai Dance Ensemble in Namibia; McIntosh began developing this work using jerahuni- technique which artistically means taking garbage and nurturing it into becoming a unique and meaningful piece of art.

20 July

21:30 Venizelio Conservatory of Chania

Tickets: 12euro regular – 9euro student, unemployment [for all 3 performances of the evening]

Next Fotis Nikolaou – X-it Dancetheatre – These gentle hearts are like shot birds falling