Raising Voices Presents
Garage Dance Ensemble’s Krummelpap, Scandals Wrapped in Prayer
“Our Families hide their scandals in prayer. And they who are teeming with secrets close their eyes…”
- Ronelda Kamfer from her text for Krummelpap, Scandals Wrapped In Prayer
Krummelpap, Scandals Wrapped in Prayer (Krummelpap, Afval en Sunlightseepbaddens) is a dance-theater piece created and performed by Garage Dance Ensemble, which makes its home in a former mining area in the Namaqualand region of South Africa, not far from the border with Namibia. Set in a specific place and time about a particular brown community geographically far from our own lands, Krummelpap is a devised work of raw emotion and dark humor. It unfolds universal stories of young people reckoning with the past and confronting conditions of the present to self-define and celebrate who they are and who they would like to be.
An uncompromising text by award-winning South African poet Ronelda Kamfer is the soundtrack of the work. The movement spins out of these verses to capture the personal and political circumstances and aspirations of the coloured peoples of South Africa’s Northern and Western Cape—descendants of slaves, Dutch slave owners, and the indigenous Khoe-San.
This full-length dance-theater production debuted at Woordfees 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and toured to the 2021 Afrovibes Festival in Holland. As described by Afrovibes:
“Krummelpap is a dance performance that tears off the plasters from the wounds of the coloured peoples of the Western and Northern Cape in South Africa. The dancers conjure up a reality that moves across your skin like sandpaper. With a compelling virtuoso style, they dance with their text and their language, making the social content of their story accessible and tangible. This dance performance makes you cry, laugh, feel uncomfortable but it also sends messages of hope.”
For the production’s United States debut tour with Center Stage, the original text, written in a dialect of Afrikaans, will be translated by the author and presented in English.
Close out Revolutionary Spaces’ Raising Voices weekend with this live performance of Garage Dance Ensemble’s Krummelpap, Scandals Wrapped in Prayer at Old South Meeting House. Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the performance will begin at 7:00 PM (Runtime: 1 hour).
About Garage Dance Ensemble
Garage Dance Ensemble is adept at creating from absence and at mounting rich and riveting performances in blank spaces like community halls. Making art meant to merge and reflect its community, Garage Dance Ensemble’s work is essential by necessity—and by choice. It is immediate and raw, filled with passionate presence and clear, expressive movement. When you watch Garage Dance Ensemble’s dancers, you are witnessing embodied thought and feeling.
In many ways, Garage Dance Ensemble traces South Africa’s recent past and current circumstances. Its home is O’Kiep, a remote former mining area in the Namaqualand (Northern Cape) region of South Africa, not far from the border with Namibia. Its dancers are youthful co-creators in Garage Dance Ensemble’s work, many of them hailing from backgrounds still too rarely featured on South African mainstream stages. Its founders are Alfred Hinkel and John Linden, two of South Africa’s most influential dance makers and company directors, perhaps best known for their decades-long work leading Cape Town’s Jazzart Dance Theatre to be one of the most important cultural and creative centers. From 1986 to 2010, they pioneered a teaching and performance ethos firmly rooted in the progressive ideological principles of the South African anti-apartheid struggle.
Laser-focused on its community, Garage Dance Ensemble has rarely left its home turf. Now, the five-dancer ensemble is coming to the United States for the first time, bringing one of their recent pieces. A work that combines stark poetry and powerful movement, Krummelpap, Scandals Wrapped in Prayer (originally Krummelpap, Afval en Sunlightseepbaddens) showcases the company’s unique approach to tell the stories of young people reckoning with the stigmas, violence, and rage of a damaged and disenfranchised community.
Explore Garage Dance Ensemble's Work
Gat innie grond, wond in my siel (Hole in the ground, wound in my soul) highlights the impact of copper mining in Namaqualand towns. It is a heart-wrenching dance narrative encapsulating the spirit, struggles and complexity of the Namaqua people.
About Center Stage
Garage Dance Ensemble is part of Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.