‘The Offside Rules‘ is the last production form the dancegroup around Constanza Macras, which was commissioned by the Goethe Institut for the 2010 football World Cup. In this coproduction of the Goethe-Institut South Africa, the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, and Constanza Macras/Dorky Park, three performers from Macras’ company teamed up with dancers from Johannesburg, who were mainly casted from the Soweto township. The piece is currently on tour in Germany.
|Macras sees Johannesburg as the country’s premier urban landscape representing the space where the evolving story of the New South Africa is most fully played out.||The city is representational of both the Utopian dreams of the reconciled Rainbow Nation and the dystopia of an urban space under siege.
The piece looks at the meeting of characters promoted by the public transportation system and the role of football in politics and economy. It is not the first time that a soccer World Cup is taking place in a socially or politically charged environment where is may play a role in covering, accelerating or confronting the actual situation in the country. One example would be the 1978 World Cup in Argentina where Macras was born. How does the euphoria of the event concile impossible differences – or accentuate existing conflicts in South Africa? How accessible are its benefits to everybody?
The piece emerges to be an accumulation of some quite nice scenerios, which one German critique described nicely as ‘miniatures’. The reviewer from ‘die tageszeitung’ had some more problems with some paralleled scenes on stage, which did not connect to well or had an almost independent life, like the ‘police’ dancer. There is also the impression of some superficiality of the piece, despite the richness of its story. As a first time Macras viewer, I cannot judge, if that is something typical for her pieces as the reviewer did, but only agree, that I had noticed that as well. Nevertheless the piece has a lot to telland its dancers are totally worth to be seen.