Free Bodies (?) Dancing in Post Colonial Cities
Curator/facilitator: Dr. Lliane Loots
FOCUS: “FREE BODIES (?) DANCING IN POSTCOLONIAL CITIES”.
Then ARTFLEUNCE dance programme will feature three choreographers and dance makers who create work in postcolonial cities and city spaces and who use the dancing body (in situ) set against often violent architectural histories and personal/political memories, and, who navigate the dancing body in everyday ways to perform resilience and resistance. These three choreographers generate intimate and very public dance making that frees the imagination to consider other ways to inhabit cities – and in so doing rethink ideas of home and belonging.
The three featured choreographers are, Preethi Arthreya (Chennai, India), Robert Ssempijja (Kampala, Uganda) and Musa Hlatshwayo (Durban, South Africa). They will each be presenting a short screen dance film before the panel opens up for discussion of their dance work and how they feel they may – as artists – contribute to ongoing cultures of human rights in their respective countries.
This on-line dance event for the ARTFLUENNCE 2022 festival is facilitated by Dr. Lliane Loots. Loots hold the founding position of Artistic Director for UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts’s annual international JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience – a festival that turns 24 in 2022. In an intimate conversation around dance and dance making, Loots will be asking this extraordinary gathering of Southern choreographers what they feel the role of art to activism is and how this is negotiated in their own embodied dance making.
BIOS OF PARTICIPANTS:
Preethi Arthreya (Chennai, India)
Preethi Athreya trained in classical Indian dance and has a postgraduate degree in Dance Studies (Laban Centre, London, 2001). Keenly conscious of her need to be defined not as the exotic other, she chose to continue her journey in her native Chennai, with a strong commitment to constantly redefine the Indian body. Preethi has been engaged in creating a personal movement language that reflects her relationship with her context, being at the same time open to new ways in how we may relate to the body. She has choreographed, performed, and produced 13 collaborative works since 2003, the latest being And Indeed There Will Be Time… (2020) and BIRD (2021).
Robert Ssempijja (Kampala, Uganda)
Robert Ssempijja is a Ugandan Contemporary Dance Artist with a career in formal and informal dance settings as well as a person who works in the era of post-colonialism and decolonisation. He has practiced his art in three different continents with different companies, projects and choreographers like Christoph Winkler (Germany), Nora Chipaumire (New York/Zimbabwe), Qudus Onikeku (Nigeria), Patrick Acogny (France/Senegal). He continues to develop new aesthetics and forms of dance, and also recently presented his new dance film “ALIENTATION” at the 2021 JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Festival.
Musa Hlatshwayo (Durban, South Africa)
Musa runs his own dance theatre company – Mhayise Productions. It is a performing arts production company based in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Now in its 16th years of existence and Led by its Artistic/ Creative Director Musa Hlatshwayo, the company specialises in creating cutting edge and socially conscious contemporary performing arts through the medium of dance, theatre, multimedia and multidisciplinary site specific/installation performances, innovative edutainment and interactive or participatory campaigns. The company also runs a dance development platform called The Movement Laboratory while also offering dance for fitness sessions called the DanceXercise Lab. As a dance maker, Musa has won numerous awards and commissions that has seen his work travel extensively. He was the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Dance and his deep interrogations of especially black masculinities set against both rural and urban South African settings, offer provocative and deeply interrogated dance theatre.
Lliane Loots (Durban, South Africa)
Lliane Loots presently holds the positions of Lecturer in the Drama and Performance Studies Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College Campus). She has a Master’s degree in Gender Studies, and completed her PhD in 2018 looking at contemporary dance/performance histories on the African continent. Loots hold the founding position of Artistic Director for UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts’s annual international JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience – a festival that turns 24 in 2022. Loots founded FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY as a professional dance company in 2003 when it grew out of a dance training programme that originally began in 1994. As the artistic director and resident choreographer for FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY, she has won numerous national choreographic awards and commissions and has travelled quite extensively in Europe, America and within the African continent with her dance work. Loots was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government in 2017 for her work (both artistic and curatorial) in the South African dance sector.