Watch: SA dance team’s moving take on taboo of male rape


SA-dancer-moving-take-on-taboo-of-male-rape_3The subject of male rape remains a taboo, thanks to its impact on our social and cultural notions of masculinity.

Now, South African dancer and choreographer Ruan de Villiers and director Emil Haarhoff have collaborated on a powerful, beautifully made short film that aims to get us talking and thinking about the issue.

Danced to Lady Gaga’s haunting song Till it Happens to You, de Villiers expresses a teenage school boy’s pain and anger after an incident of classroom abuse by a teacher.

Haarhoff, who conceptualised the project, points out that the sexual abuse of boys and men is a reality in South Africa, with an estimated 19.4% of all victims of sexual abuse in 2012 being male.

“We strongly believe in creating relevant content for audiences underlining social responsibilities, to inform and uplift communities,” Haarhoff told Mambaonline.

“There has been so much attention on the struggle for gender equality and female empowerment, but in the process we must never forget that men are multidimensional as well,” he said.

SA-dancer-moving-take-on-taboo-of-male-rape_2“We are allowed to feel and cry and acknowledge that we are weak even if this is not preserved as the norm in society. So, no matter how embarrassing it might be, this video communicates that male rape is still a reality. A reality that we should talk about, cry about and dance about to give it a voice,” Haarhoff explained.

Haarhoff and De Villiers said that with more financial backing they hope to continue to create content that will inspire, motivate and enlighten.

“We need to tell stories and acknowledge that even if life has different scenarios we are all human with the same soul,” added Haarhoff.

Watch the video below.

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