Over the past decade, Dancesport has become a popular form of entertainment internationally. With the rising popularity of television dance shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars, dance appeals to audiences across all ages and cultural divides.
The viewers of these shows get to witness the glitz, glamour and athleticism of bodies in motion, but what does it take to be a champion? What happens behind the scenes? How does Dancesport affect the lives of those who live, breath and bleed for it everyday? Rumba in the Jungle, The Return is a glimpse into this world. The documentary follows two legendary South African Champions who have gone to compete internationally and won world titles in the late 1990s.
In 1996 DanceSport was rated the third most popular leisure activity in South Africa next to soccer and rugby. 'Rumba in the Jungle' was the premiere international dance event bringing dance couples from around the world to Sun City to compete for the prestigious title. Over the past two decades Tebogo Kgobokoe and Michael Wentink have both become dance celebrities in South Africa and abroad. However during this time the legendary competition that helped them reach fame has ceased to exist do to a lack of funding support and the division of factions. Today, Rumba in the Jungle is back and promises to be better than before as it brings different forms of dance styles under one roof. We get to know Michael and taboo as they groom a new generation of dancers to take the floor. The competition also features international dance celebrities and champions, Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva as well as Slavic Krykylvyy and Karina Smirnoff who were once South African Michael Wentink's big rivals. They are reunited in Sun City, South Africa and go down memory lane as they are reminded of their professional rivalry.
Directed by Yolanda Mogatusi and produced by Dominique Jossie, this documentary has become a sort of unexpected passion project. "As female filmmakers, we have a deep love of storytelling and have professional dance training. This film presented an opportunity to merge the two loves. We remember watching this prestigious dance competition, Rumba in the Jungle, on national television many years ago and recall the sudden void when it was no more." says director Yolanda Mogatusi.
With the support of the South African Dance Foundation, the female Filmmakers were given the opportunity to film the event and decided to pitch a documentary concept. "We feel that this is an important story to share and a beautiful art form to capture on film. Not only is the subject matter entertaining to watch but it is also focuses on a national sport that unites Africans from different backgrounds" explains producer Dominique Jossie.
Yolanda and Dominique met at the Durban Talent Campus in 2012 and promised that they will return with a project some day. Six years later, this documentary was born. The film is Mogatusi's first documentary film, with her recent film being a short film called, Hair That Moves. She is also working on her first animation film, which is still in its development phase. "I think there is something in this film about national pride and African excellence not only in the international competition and how it ran then and how it will run now, but there is an excellence in our lead champion dancers, Tebogo Kgobokoe and Michael Wentink. They are both world-renowned, champion dancers and only a small community of people might be aware of this. We would love for all of SA or at least every South African who watches this film to be aware of this. They and many others are the Wayde Van Niekerk's and Chad Le Clos' of the DanceSport world, and they have competed and succeeded at a very high level. They were also South African heroes at a time when South Africa and even more South Africans of colour were not celebrated much," concludes Mogatusi.
The Dance Documentary Rumba in the Jungle, the Return is set to premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on the 22nd of July 2018 at Suncoast Casino @8pm.
Additional screenings: 24 July, MUSGRAVE Ster Kinekor 3 @6pm
28 JULY, MUSGRAVE Ster Kinekor @12pm
For more information about future screenings follow our page https://www.facebook.com/Rumbainthejunglethereturn/
Dominique Jossie firstname.lastname@example.org