Jiva! premiered on 24th June 2021 on Netflix. Created by the writer, producer, and director, Busisiwe Ntintili, and directed by Scottnes L. Smith, Mmambatho Montsho, and Mandla Dube the street dance-drama stars Noxolo Dlamini, Stella Dlangalala, Tony Kgoroge, Sne Mbatha, and Candice Modiselle alongside other cast members.
Dreams and Dance
There is no shortage of dance films and series on Netflix. It’s like every month Netflix releases something on the same lines. Jiva! revolves around Ntombi, a brilliant dancer who has been forced to sacrifice her passion in order to focus on her familial responsibilities. She’s stuck in a dead-end profession in a working-class area, but a dance competition with a large cash prize gives her hope, so she creates a girl group with Vuyiswa, Lady E, Zinhle, and Nolwazi to go for the money but only if she can handle her family and adversaries in the meantime.
Like every other series that works on the same lines, Jiva! has some predictable plot points and you know mostly how it is going to end for the characters but what makes Jiva! infectious is its energy and its dance sequences. There are expertly choreographed dance sequences that add not just to the appeal of the series but to the character arc too and while it might not give characters the place to blossom completely at points it is still worth it. It’s nearly difficult to dislike this exuberant celebration and embrace of South African culture and the art of dance in this series.
Everything about these elevated sequences is fantastic, from the costumes to the choreography, and it’s the main reason to watch the show. This isn’t to argue that everything else is awful; it’s simply there wasn’t quite enough of it, and the film’s waning focus makes several ancillary subplots appear completely unnecessary. While these attempts may pay off handsomely in an already greenlit second season, they come off as padding now. There is no doubt that despite its very few shortcomings, Jiva! might buildup an ardent fan-base as an amazing dance drama.
There isn’t much to take about Jiva! as the series offers good dance sequences and plotline that might build better in the next season. Nevertheless, Jiva! in its 5-episodes, offers some fine dance sequences that’ll have you vibing to them and it’s all good.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! If you’re planning to watch Jiva! watch it for its A-class dance sequences and not for something new in the storyline. The series is set in a humble environment and offers a good time nonetheless. I would have wished for more social and cultural touch in the series as the South African fraternity is culturally rich and blooming other than that the series left me pretty content with whatever it offered.
Jiva! is streaming now on Netflix.