The African Cypher

According to my dictionary, a cypher has to do with a secret message, like a code. Now I'm further mystified by the name for this documentary about young men who devote countless hours and boundless energy as choreographers and dancers for their original street performances (and eventual contests). Their dances seem to be part break-dancing, part folk dancing, part Morris dance, and altogether original.

Director Bryan Little and Producer Filipa Domingues take us to South Africa (English captions where needed) to examine the talent and philosophy embraced by these unique individuals. We become acquainted with several young men, all ambitious and hard working. We can see that this movement is generally peaceful, it promotes multi-cultural competition and the dances only contain simulated fights. In addition to lengthy statements of the various beliefs, we see the upbeat attitudes of these men, which sound worthwhile.

I only have a couple of questions: Where are the women? I only spotted one woman during this whole documentary, although she appears more than once. Also, why didn't we see the winning entry in the contest? It occurred to me that the documentarians thought they were following the likely winners, which would make a great wrap to their story, but the winners must not have been among any of the groups we met.

This trailer contains a nice sampling of those dance styles. It's worth your time.
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Another preview from U-Tube:
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