Irene Loebell (South Africa, Switzerland)
In a rundown township near Johannesburg, three youngsters from troubled backgrounds are right in the middle of the great adventure of coming of age. All members of the dance group Taxido, which provides a living while improving their prospects, their days are filled with rehearsals and performances. In Jerry, founder, choreographer and manager of the troupe, in spite of his frightful past they find the guidance lacking from their upbringings. Seipati, 18, lives with her overburdened grandmother and is proud of the trophies she has received as the group’s dancing queen. Venter, 19, is relieved that dancing keeps him from the wrong path. Ladies’ man, Tshidiso, 20, always on the phone dealing with one of his eleven girlfriends, conquers not only girls but also Taxido audiences with his charm. The youngsters receive praises wherever they performe their wild dance routines, homegrown on the streets of their township, Though back in their hovels they face again the daily grind of poverty added to by the sometimes aggressive treatment Jerry uses to keep them away from the violence of the streets. But then the youngsters start to rebel when other interests take hold. Twenty years after apartheid’s end, ‘Life In Progress’ delivers a close insight into the lives of three adolescents living in a rundown township called Katlehong, a Sotho word for “progress”.