Rites of passage: separation, liminality and an initiation into being in Mamela Nyamza's hatched

SOURCE: South African Theatre Journal
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9685
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/10829
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/10829

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This article aims its attention at interrogating the integrity of choices, the state of identities and reflects upon notions of selfhood in South African choreographer and dancer Mamela Nyamza' s critically acclaimed work, Hatched. I explore rites of passage - in accordance with anthropologist Arnold van Gennep' s delineation of rites of separation, transition, incorporation and how these are embodied and enacted in Hatched. I analyse concrete performative actions that are about making and marking transformation. Individuation might be the consequence of the rite and its intention, but I also interrogate the rite as a performative and aesthetic process. Rites are not solely about the narrative of the performance, but the ritual within the stage action. The focus is not on what the individuation does, but rather the rite itself, because it facilitates those undergoing transformation, to transform. Hatched as a rite of passage work is about passing through something; an event, a state of being, a sense of self and practice in this present moment. Furthermore, as a rite of passage work, Hatched reflects and echoes the transition in South Africa's shifting identity, along with the identities of the individuals who inhabit it.