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Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero at The Baxter

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Arts & Culture, Entertainment, News | 0 comments

“Grief and Mourning, Delivered With Ecstatic Vitality”

Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero, Gregory Maqoma’s critically acclaimed work with the the Vuyani Dance Theatre, will be staged at The Baxter for three performances only, from 21 to 23 March 2024 at 7.30pm.

Physically charged and visually striking, the work is conceived and choreographed by the internationally renowned, Gregory Vuyani Maqoma and performed by the Vuyani Dance Theatre. It draws inspiration from author Zakes Mda’s novel, Cion and Ravel’s Boléro and is, in Maqoma’s words, “a lament, a requiem required to awaken a part of us, the connection to the departed souls.”

The production has been performed to great success in cities like New York, Washington, Marseille, London, Joburg, Durban and other cities around the globe. The critics raved. Financial Times described it as, “gripping, poignant,” while Mail & Guardian simply called it a “… tour de force … masterpiece …” and Critics Notebook said, “A dance steals the show at an Opera Festival.” The New York Times saying, “a gripping-opera in New York” and “Grief and Mourning, Delivered With Ecstatic Vitality.”

  • This season at The Baxter follows Maqoma’s sensational success at the theatre last year when he presented another of his illustrious productions, Exit/Exist, in honour of his 50th birthday and his retirement from performing.
  • Nhlanhla Mahlangu is the musical director and composer, costumes by BlackCoffee, set design and technical direction by Oliver Hauser, original lighting design by Mannie Manim and sound design is by Ntuthuko Mbuyazi.
    CION, Requiem

    Vuyani Dance Theatre

In this piece the message of death and its dire consequences are infused through a lament to be able to confront a universe in which the age-old tropes of greed, power and religion have given rise to loss of life not as a natural phenomenon. Toloki, the professional mourner weaves through this virtual landscape of dissolution giving rise to a catharsis of universal grief that will conquer the sadness, the hard reality continuing to permeate the living confronted by death that is not their own, often so unexpected, brutal and merciless.

Cion as in Zion, the African church is set in a graveyard, a church where the body is religion and the voices are personal. Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro, draws inspiration from creations by two artists: the character Toloki in South African author Zakes Mda’s novels Cion and Ways of Dying and music from French composer Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. It’s a universal story encompassing the past and the present that champions our ability to band together to share the burden of grief.

Set in a graveyard filled with the persistent cries of visitors in mourning and the poignant music of Isicathamiya singers (an a cappella singing style originating from the Zulus), Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro vividly elicits emotions associated with the loss of life.

You only have 3 opportunities to see Cion: Requiem for Ravel’s Bolero  at The Baxter – HURRY!

WHAT: Cion: Requiem for Ravel’s Bolero
WHERE: The Pam Golding Theatre, The Baxter, Main Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town 7700
WHEN: 21 to 23 March 2024 at 7.30pm
TICKETS: R180 and R200 and booking is through Webtickets online or at Pick n Pay stores.
INFO:  Fahiem Stellenboom T 021 680 3971 | E fahiem.stellenboom@uct.ac.za OR Sizwesandile Mnisi T 021 680 3963 | E sizwesandile.mnisi@uct.ac.za. | Visit
PHOTOS: John Hogg

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