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Friday, 30 April 2010

Breakin Convention Jane Sekonya-John

Jane Sekonya-John began her career training at the Johannesburg Dance Foundation in 1988 before gaining a scholarship at Ballet Rambert School of Dance in London during 1994. She will be performing her piece Spoti at Breakin' Convention 2010 on Sunday.

Interview with Jane Sekonya-John
By David Barros
Spotti: What is it about?
Spoti is a slang language for "fisherman's hat" in South Africa, so I took that and made it as a piece. The whole thing is about the story of a woman who was injured when she was young. Every time she puts on this hat it transforms her into her young self.
It not only transforms her into her young self, but it also brings back the memories of what she's been through, what she's done throughout her life until she had that injury, but she doesn't really want to remember or deal with it. Hence the reason why this spoti puts it over, she doesn't want to deal with it.

What is the message?
It can be anybody's story. As we know, people have different experiences when they have injuries in different ways, and whatever way they get through their pain or their healing or their story, its what makes a difference.

Where did the idea come from?
The idea was influenced by my injury, my personal injury. I was in The Lion King, I was one of the cast members and I was performing and I fell on stage - kapoop! - right onto my knee and I had to have major surgery on it.
Since then it took me a while to get through it and get back into performing, knowing, having to know my body and work around this knee. So that really encouraged me to do a piece about it.

Another thing I should say is the first time I performed it I actually swapped the legs! Meaning that the strong leg I used as the weak leg in the piece, and the weak leg I used as the strong one!
But as time goes on, and now it's what, 10 years down the line since I did the original performance? Now I feel that I had to swap it around and make it more real. 'This is the injured knee, so I am going to used the injured knee this time.'

What should people take away from it?
With this I'm hoping people will hear my story and experience what I experienced, and hopefully they will see it the way I portrayed it.

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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