In this special collaboration, three performers from Constanza Macras’ company will team up with dancers from Johannesburg to reflect on the first African World Cup.
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.
Typical of such a growing metropolis is that an integral part of urban society can be seen in the divide between the anxious rich and the desperately poor. Patterns of differentiation reinforce structural inequalities deeply integrated in the cityscape – but also reflect an emergent spatial logic governing the organisation of the uses and meaning of the urban space after apartheid.
The piece looks at the meeting of characters promoted by the public transport 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 it could play a role in covering, accelerating or confronting the actual situations in the country. Another example is the 1978 World Cup in Argentina where Macras was born. Will the euphoria of the event reconcile differences? Or will it accentuate existing conflicts? How accessible are its benefits to everybody?
These are the questions at the heart of The Offside Rules, which forms part of the ‘Football Meets Culture’ programme being promoted by the Goethe Institute, the German Embassy and their partners.