Dance halls

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Dance halls and popular dance and music

These were common in the country in the first half of the 20th century, when ballroom and other dancing was popular. In the second half of the century they were gradually renamed under the influence of the American movie and pop culture, becoming discoteques (“Disco’s) or “clubs”. A number of these were built in the “freehold” areas (Sophiatown, et al) as well as in the various urban “native townships” and became the spaces where the uniquely South African musical and dance forms, and the hybrid varieties that evolved from the impact of Western and other cultural influences, notably jazz and the movies in the early part of the century.

Influence on theatre in South Africa

It is from such roots that the big musicals (King Kong, Ipi Tombi,) as well as the so-called Township Musicals came (**??) . (See Coplan, 1985)

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