Sometimes on the global Stay True Journeys we're undertaking with Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky, local themes emerge gradually. Not so in South Africa. There, the theme came instantly.
Right up front, everyone we spoke to in the S.A. music world mentioned one thing above all others as important to them: the power and centrality of dancing in their lives. As MC/producer Okmalumkoolkat unequivocally put it, “it's a dancing nation.” That is to say, not only is dancing a form of recreation in the evening, but the act of dancing is the primary inspiration for more or less all of the musicians we met.
So the documentary part of our journey couldn't have been about anything else. With the Indigenous Dance Academy from Tembisa, Johannesburg and their founder Jarrel Mathebula, with the South African DJs and producers who performed at our Stay True event and - perhaps most importantly of all - with the crowd who came down, we've tried to capture just what a vital collective activity dance really is for South African music makers and their fans alike. It's a compelling vision of generations of tradition being retooled for the 20th century, and we couldn't be prouder of it.