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Performance

"This is the real thing: a head-over-heels incredulity that there exists in the universe so perfect an imperfection."
Independent People by Halldór Laxness

The Edge of Wrong
Photo: Justin Allart at Edge of Wrong Festival, October 2014

Bold and provocative work on the edge of the unknown, demanding a shift in standpoint and challenging what is describable.

Solo and collaborative theatrical works from multimedia events to avant garde productions.

Commissions are invited for Arts Festivals, conferences, Seminars, Product launches, Company events, Celebrations, Anniversaries, Awards ceremonies, Welcomes and Farewells.

PRODUCTIONS


Photo: Dex Goodman

2013-2014
What does the earth think it is?

Dance performance with film and sound.

Performed at Theatre Arts Admin Collective and Windhoek Woordfees.

Adrienne Sichel of Cape Argus:"...most significantly the strongest resonance was sparked by dance theatre and history itself as the performers (ranging from iconic Tossie van Tonder and John Nankin to the brightest of younger sparks) and performances generated ganglia reconnecting decades of performance making."

Award received:
Peter Hayes Award
for The Most Visually Engaging performance in 2013.

Among the top five theatre productions in Cape Town by Cape Times Critic Tracey Saunders.

Available for festivals, indabas, conferences.

Available as commissioned work.

This work forms part of a decades-long exploration of the ecological citizen of the post-modern era. It is a movement toward an ecological awareness illustrating how we have withdrawn from our non-human nature, both in our speaking and in our senses, of which body movement is one amongst the senses of balance, of life, of thought, warmth and the sense of the self. This disconnection leaves us insecure, restless, sad, insensitive, dependent and with poor judgment. It also leads us to hubristic self-positioning, with the power to annihilate life itself.
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Technically and artistically this work requires an alignment that overrides binaries that disconnect us, such as mind/body, inner/outer, rational/emotional, free/dominated, culture/nature, space/place, human/animal, new/old, male/female, urban/rural, middle-class/working-class, white/black and subject/object.

The aesthetic dimension of public culture is central in overcoming crippling dualisms of Western modernity that impair participatory engagement. The living body in dance desires to express that we are not only our bodies. We are more, and how we move could represent a sustainable earth … in the human form. Our human part in the genesis of knowledge in its most crucial aspect – in the face of climate change – is to prepare ourselves aesthetically and spiritually for the reception of this knowledge. Increasingly our learning needs to enable intuitive, embodied experience that deals with the immediate reality of our circumstances. Climate change calls for an activism that is not elevated, ideal or abstract, but an integrated part of everyday consciousness, located within our cultural histories and ecologies – a climate-change justice that considers the local/global and present/future features through sophisticated deliberation, reflexive engagement and aesthetic response to the urgency of self expression.

This work aims to give expression to a connective aesthetic, a connective practice that enables us to respond, as opposed to being numbed by our living environment. It offers an ethical individualism as artistic agency.

As many people are looking for new forms of living, avenues of participation, engagements of integrity with others, with Nature and with the future, scientific, political and economic models need to make space for our inner abilities and potentialities that investigate imagination, intuition and inspiration. Our relationship to the outer world will become more responsive and might better serve us in developing what is described as a sustainable future.

My performance aims to evoke the aesthetic representation of empathy, listening, imagination – an unfurling process that accommodates emergence – an inner reality to the outer world. Through the artistic choice of a filmic device onto the dance, the dance wishes not to explain the world, but to describe it as closely as possible in the way the world makes itself evident to the awareness, the way things first arise in our direct, sensorial experience.

The body is that mysterious and multifaceted phenomenon that always accompanies our awareness. It is the primary agent for an associative empathic landscape.

Therefore — the choice of dance to illustrate and celebrate this work.


Photo: Ashley Walters

2012
Tabula Rasa

Performed dance and interview at the launch of book NOBONKE, She of all People. Interviewed by Performer and singer-songwriter Jacques Coetzee.

Performed at GIPCA Live Arts Festival 2012.

Available as dance and interview for the launch of literary works.





Photo: Nicola Visser

2011
The End

Performed in collaboration with videographer Joelle Chesselet and movement director Nicola Visser.

Conceived by kind permission on Bio-dynamic Farm Hoekiesdam, Wolseley.

Performed at GIPCA Hot Water Festival, Art and Climate Change.

Performed at GIPCA Live Arts Festival 2012.


Photo: Sean Wilson

2009
Infecting the City

Performed in Cape Town at Infecting the City Festival.

Work called Limbo: Comment on Xenophobia

Photo on position of Slave Tree.


Photo: Joelle Chesselet

Johann Myburg CUE: "With no visible effort, Van Tonder produces high pitched seagull-like sounds. It becomes immaterial whether they are human or animal or a form of plant life for that matter; they share a common soul."

2008
Intiem

Performed in collaboration with Jacques Coetzee, performer and singer songwriter.

Performed at Intimate Theatre, UCT Hiddingh Campus, Cape Town.

Commissioned by National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 2008.


Photo: Storm Janse van Rensburg

2006
Poppe

Performed in collaboration with 20 fellow performers at Intimate Theatre during the Out The Box Festival.

"exaggerated expression in the state of emergency"


Photo: Wilhelm Hahn

2005
Mamakaluyolo

Performed as celebration of separation between son and mother in collaboration with Luyolo Sijake.

Directed by Caroline Calburn and Wilhelm Hahn.

Performed in Cape Town.

Music by Wim Mertens.

For more, see the Archive.

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