Rhode Island College brings over twenty Johannesburg performers to town for the Festival of South African Dance, which highlights two specific dance styles native to that country. Gumboot dance is a style developed by rural gold miners, who wear plastic rain boots – gumboots – while working. Forbidden from speaking on the job, the miners developed the dance style as a means to communicate. Pantsula, meanwhile, is a considerably more fast-paced style of urban street dance that emerged during Apartheid and vaguely resembles breakdancing, or at least the footwork of breakdancing. Live musicians will accompany both groups. Click here for a fun primer on early pantsula music.