Creative video production

Journey – Rosina Bonsu (spanish subtitles)


Video Documentation by Iñigo Garrido/OaksBark

Chorographer/Director – Rosina Bonsu

Writer/Director – John Binnie

Costume Designer – Brain Hartley

UNAM Choirmaster – Bonnie Pereko

Soloists – Suzanne Bonnar and Rebecca Tavener

Gaelic Song Co-ordinator – Mairi Morrison Companies –

The Dance House and The University Of Namibia Choir (UNAM) Recordings of Choir Coming to the autumnal wet of Glasgow from the heat and dry of Nambia there could be strong contrasts but the overwhelming impression of this production is unity and difference growing together. All the more impressive because it’s the first time either of them have worked in this way. After an hour of a story told in dance with unaccompanied songs in Gaelic, English and a variety of African languages, the young Glaswegians near me were singing too. Out of their smiling mouths came the African click sounds and some pretty amazing ululation too as they moved with a new spring. All by listening and warming to this group of locals and travellers from afar with their own joint creative experience. They were responding to the warming vibrancy Dance House and UNAM Chior have developed together where everyone seems to sing and dance in a story of people and their journey through oppression, resistance, revolution, liberation and then the challenges of living in freedom. Costumes by Brian Hartley and his team adds to the theme of togetherness with uniqueness. The groups of people – journeyers, washer women, weavers, ploughers, miners, factory workers, maize grinders and Freedom fighters are all differentiate not just by what they do but with costumes which vary within the group as well as between each one. Seperate from the rest, singing the fallen to her is Death, and Suzanne Bonnar is its voice. She and her two handmaidens move around removing the the people, dressed in white gowns, a grey edged band at the bottom and a red padded Japanese style cummerbunds. Their otherness too adds to the integrity of the Journey, for we all sooner or later have to go with Death. Rehearsed over just two weeks, inclusive in all the best senses, it is imaginatively choreographed by Rosina Bonsu. Just once or twice you refer to the programme’s explanations but it’s some feat to be so clear in movement and song nearly alone. The whole cast numbers 149, yes 149. 49 members of UNAM Chior and the 100 Scottish based performers professional and non-professional of all ages and abilities. And it was only at the end when the UNAM Choir gave us a couple of songs themselves that we knew who were from here and who from there. Picking out the professionals from the rest was totally impossible – all moved, sung and convinced, woven into Journey’s universal cloth. I wish all projects who bring artists, cultures and people of all ages and abilities together as life encouraging and sharing results as this. © Thelma Good 30 October 2002. – Published on