The Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and its JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience launched its first inaugural 3-day dance colloquium/dialogues for 2021. The aims are to support focused South African and African (and Diaspora) dance scholarship in an accessible and community driven manner and with attention to new ways of engaging dance/performance scholarship, practice, and practice-led research in new and interesting ways. While there is some measure of ‘conference’ about it, our aim has been to imagine new and innovative ways of sharing knowledge that helps support a community of African (and African Diaspora) scholars and practitioners. We also welcome support in this endeavour from key partners in India, Europe and the Americas.
JC Zondi taken at JOMBA! 2019 – photo by Val Adamson
Choreographing violence and Intimacies: exploring choreography and screendance as artistic mediums for choreographing Intimacies through a performance lecture titled ‘In the shadow of his fist’
by Kamogelo Molobye
BOXED and its inspirations for the future (Part 1)
by Dr Anita Ratnam
BOXED and its inspirations for the future (Part 2): Digital Intimacy: ‘And a ‘Morning After’?’
by Chitra Sundaram, MBE
BOXED and its inspirations for the future (Part 3)
by Dr Ketu H. Katrak
Intimacy as a Political Act: Contemporary Dance in South Africa
by Dr Sarahleigh Castelyn
by Lucky Moeketsi and Gifter Mbongeni
Digital Dance and domesticity: the work of female East African choreographers in a time of Covid
by Charlie Ely
Language is a breathable place: “that words must get out of the way for something else to come through” (Klonaris, 2011)
by Nomcebisi Moyikwa and Mlondiwethu Dubazane
WHEN I SLAM MY BODY INTO A WALL I KNOW THAT IT’S THERE
by Kristina Johnstone
“The choreographed politics of intimacies”
With COVID and the digital move to offer dance (and dance festivals) via on-line platforms and digital spaces, one of the results has been an upsurge of deeply intimate dance and screen dance work. This colloquium took as provocation the (revised) words of Mexican poet and scholar Luis Vicente de Aguinaga that “even though every kind of politics needs a public square to exist, the politics of [dance] takes place in an intimate square”. The seeming collapse of public and private, and the mostly private homebound consumption of dance in digital spaces, provided an interesting and significant terrain to interrogate (amongst other factors like race and gender), Africa’s digital divides and what it means for African dance makers to engage the ‘politics of intimacy’ within digital dance spaces. The colloquium thus sought to engage the ‘intimacies’ of new ways of imaging/consuming/producing the creation of dance work for digital spaces that also – ironically and concurrently – have global reach. This is also set against the rise of gender -based violence during national COVID lock downs, and the ongoing understanding that private spaces (the intimacies of ‘home’) consistently remain a battle ground for many women (and women artists).
The colloquium set out to explore/interrogate:
a. how political, economic, social, cultural and technological forces are (re)shaping the meanings of intimacy in dance making in Africa (and the African Diaspora) in the recent wake of COVID-19.
b. past and present African/African Diaspora histories of live dance work that has set up shifted boundaries around ‘intimacy’ whether this has been through re-imagined performance spaces, audience engagements, choreographic process and delivery, and the actual narratives of the performance.
Dr. Lliane Loots
Artistic Director and Curator:
JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience