BodyTech – first announcement
BodyTech is going to be one of the most exciting and innovative parts of Fak’ugesi 2015. Curator, Jessica Denyschen of Ar(t)chive, has just announced the programme for the BodyTech events on 4 and 5 September. For anyone who is seriously interested in one of the most happening areas in South African contemporary performance the engagement between body and new techologies, this part of the Festival is a must.
The Symposium on the 6th September – under the title of Tech Chutzpah – will be tracing the uptake of digital technology in South African contemporary performance by speaking directly to the choreographers and visual artists who have been engaging, since the 1980s, with internet cameras, video and other technologies with their hallmark ingenuity.The list of confirmed speakers is mind-mindbogglingly stellar. They include Robyn Orlin, Steven Cohen, Jeannette Ginslov, Nondumiso Msimanga, Julia Raynham, Kieron Jina and Daniel Buckland. The facilitators will be top dance commentators and analysts, Adrienne Sichel and David Thatanelo April. I don’t think South African dance has ever had such a line-up of speakers and this discussion promises to sizzle.
But as exciting will be the performance collaboration which Jessica has produced specially for BodyTech. As a demonstration and a practical exploration of the issues which will be explored in the Symposium and Workshop, the performance piece will bring together choreographer and dancer, Athenea Mazarakis, with the wild engineering duo, Bushveld Labs.
Athena’s work as a dancer and choreographer has explored the human meaning of engagement with technology in contemporary life in all modes, from comedy to tragedy; while Bushveld Labs have made a name for themselves with their constantly innovative boundary-stretching technology solutions. This year they were the commissioned technologists at the Afrika Burns festival; so we can expect something both amazing and profound when these intensely creative people put together their collaborative performance, Portal, in an alley on the corner of Smit and Eendracht Streets, on the evenings of the 4th and 5th of Sept. This will be the first experimental “prequel” of a collaborative project which will be developed into a major international networked performance event, between the UK and SA, later in the year. Stay tuned for more info.