Vienna — Zimbabwe’s internationally-acclaimed arts group, Iyasa has forged strong ties with premier Austrian theatre groups, staging joint performances in that country.
By Khulani Nkabinde in Austria
Iyasa director, Nkululeko Innocent Dube told The Standard Style in a recent interview in Vienna that working with the Austrians had been an eye-opener.
“There is strong support for the work we do here. The very fact that going on stage is taken as a full-time job is something that is lacking back home,” he said.
Over the years, Iyasa has been collaborating with the Dschungel Theatre in the Austrian capital city.
The group’s latest production Do You Jodel? was done in collaboration with the Austrians.
The satirical show was directed by Flo Staffelmayr and choreographed by Natalie Fend while Dube was in charge of the music. It mixes dance and theatre.
“What makes the show even more interesting is the fact that we all come from different backgrounds but working on one production and doing our best to make it appeal to a European audience,” he said.
Do You Jodel? focuses on life in Austria and tries to unravel what makes one a typical Austrian albeit told through African lens and seeking to also bring out what the performers find to be awkward about their host country.
Iyasa is also showcasing another production entitled Sisonke — We Are Together, which they did in collaboration with Make-Make Theatre Company.
Sisonke on the other hand, focuses on family life in Zimbabwe. The Austrian group travelled to Zimbabwe in 2013 and lived in the country for a whole month to get a feel of the place before working on the production.
“The underlying message in the production is that no matter where we come from, we all want to live happily. It has nothing to do with race, culture or anything else, we all want to be happy in life and be successful,” said Dube.
Iyasa also performs in other European countries during their annual six months tour.