Graham Tainton, 92, came from South Africa to Stockholm in 1959 with Miriam Makeba and the group Golden City Dixies. In protest against the apartheid regime, some defected and stayed in Sweden. It marked the beginning of Graham’s long dance career as an artist on big stages and TV, choreographer for shows and groups such as ABBA, as well as dance teachers at the Ballet Academy and The Royal Dramatic Theatre’s Stage School for several decades.
In “Step by Step,” we follow Graham’s encounter with the tap dance in South Africa in the 1930s, called “zonk,” his encounter with racial disparity and the time Nelson Mandela, a defense lawyer and friend from the boxing club, helped him out of prison. We meet Graham’s cousin Miriam Makeba, who became an icon of the fight against apartheid. We hear about Nelson, Miriam and Graham reuniting after 34 years in Stockholm when Mandela is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
For six months, Carl Eneroth investigated the phenomenon of Graham Tainton together with Joachim Hövel. Watch the documentary about how Graham uses dance to unite us, beyond words, and helps us discover the human behind his skin color, politics, religion or gender. Step by step.
Directed by Carl Eneroth (Sweden)