Home Lifestyle Creatives Collaborate in Third Space for local audiences and National Arts Festival

Creatives Collaborate in Third Space for local audiences and National Arts Festival

The National Arts Festival (NAF) and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) with The Embassy of France to South Africa, Lesotho, and Malawi, present Third Space, a series of collaborative creative dance artworks at this year’s festival that celebrates its 50th edition from 20 to 30 June 2024.

 The project involves creative residencies accompanied by a series of workshops hosted by local arts organisations and guest choreographers, scenographers, and dancers, within three communities in Duncan Village in Eastern Cape, George in the Western Cape, and Emakhazeni in Mpumalanga.

“The project is an endeavour to renew audience interest- and stimulate dance-makers’ creativity in the contemporary dance space in South Africa, while investing in high artistic values, facilitating cultural exchange between African countries and ultimately supporting local artists in rural and peri-urban areas,” says Sophie Boulé, cultural attaché and deputy director at IFAS.

She adds, “Contemporary dance is a sector of excellence in South Africa that is well recognized in France and has been supported by IFAS for nearly thirty years.”

The three new dance creations coming out of these residencies will be showcased first within the local communities, then at the National Arts Festival in June 2024 as part of the curated programme, with plans to help facilitate these being presented in other African countries, as well as marketed to international festivals.

 “The Third Space is the possibility for something new to emerge, it’s a space for meetings across social groups and function, it’s about being and making together,” explains NAF Artistic Director Rucera Seethal. “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary of the National Arts Festival, in the 30th year of democracy, our Third Space project is an opportunity for us to take stock of where we are, create works from unlikely encounters, and take bold steps together which hopefully ring loud during but also far beyond this year’s Festival”.

 Built on this concept, the Third Space Project brings together three arts organisations in South African communities to collaborate with African choreographers and set designers in creating a work: Gompo Community Arts Centre (East London), KUBU Collective (George) and Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative (Emakhazeni).

 Coming out of the Gompo Community Arts Centre, the new dance work “Golden City” is choreographed by Mozambique’s Panaibra Gabriel Canda, one of the most influential choreographers in Africa with over 25 years of international experience.  He works with scenographer Elton Rafael David, a practising photographer and Digital Media Creative also from Mozambique, as well as  the young and talented South African visual artist Bahle Menziwa, from Duncan Village.  These three artists have created a new work with Gompo Arts Centre affiliated dancers Yonela Tana Gobingca, Phumzile Zakaza, Simvuyele “SimzADV” Hala Kamva Muti, Owen King, Unathi Xenti, Nosphiwo “Nickita” Kungeka and Sibongile “Queen Bee” Stevens.  

 From George in the Western Cape, new dance work “Bond-Edge” features creatives and dancers from the KUBU COLLECTIVE working at The Market Community Theatre under the facilitation of local creative producer Heloïne Armstrong. The Collective is a multidisciplinary creative ensemble of performance and visual artists, writers, theatre-makers, technicians, and arts administrators. Ugandan choreographer and 2022 Pina Bausch Fellow, Lilian Maximillian Nabaggala, and Tanzanian multidisciplinary scenographer, digital artist, and Prince Claus mentorship award recipient, Arafa C Hamadi have been working with. The KUBU COLLECTIVE dancers Lynette Du Plessis, Shaun Oelf, William Payler, and Amy-Kay Klassen are on this new production.

 The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative is an independent dance company based at the Ebhudlweni Arts Centre in Emakhazeni, Mpumalanga. Dancers from the company, Phumeza Damane, Kaldi Makutike, Promise Mosoma, and Promise Magopa, have worked with Mozambican choreographer Janet Mulapha and South African Jenni-Lee Crew to create the new dance work “In(Visible)”.  From Mozambique, Mulapha has an international profile as well as a long relationship with the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative, while South African scenographer Jenni-Lee Crewe, is currently a senior lecturer in scenography at the Centre for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Cape Town.  

 Dates for the local performances are:

KUBU COLLECTIVE: George – 1 June at 7pm. For more info contact Heloïne Armstrong – heloinearmstrong@gmail.com

FATC: Emakhazeni – 9 June at 1pm. For more info contact Tshego Khutsoane – tshego@forgottenangle.co.za

GOMPO: Duncan Village –23 June at 1pm. For more info contact Wandile Ntlanganiso – wandilefinearts@gmail.com

 Dates for National Arts Festival are:

The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative –  20 and 21 June

Gompo Community Arts Centre – 27 and 28 June

KUBU COLLECTIVE – 29 and 30 June

Show times and bookings for all three shows at the Festival can be made at https://bit.ly/3rdSpaceBookings

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