South African Gumboot Dancers
The gumboot dance (or isicathulo) is an African dance that is performed by dancers wearing Wellington boots. In South Africa these are more commonly called gumboots.
The boots are sometimes embellished with bells, so that they ring as the dancers stamp on the ground. This sound would be a code or a different calling to say something to another person a few distances away. It was basically used as their language in the mining grounds.
Gumboot dancers are commonly sighted on the streets and plazas of tourist areas in South Africa, such as the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Circus Zuma Zuma will bring this experience to its stage in 2011 as we celebrate South Africa’s mining history, heritage and existence.